Reputation is a valuable yet vulnerable asset. When something goes wrong and a company is not seen to respond quickly and effectively, a reputation that has been invested in and built up over many years can quickly be destroyed. And accidents, disasters and catastrophes occur in the best ordered circumstances: that's why we insure against risk.
Putting blame to one side for the moment, it is the response to such events that generates the mass of comment and criticism. How such circumstances are perceived is in most cases more relevant than how they are actually managed. Perception is the biggest change-maker of all - data alone can't deflect emotion - something that senior managers continually to fail to acknowledge and respond to. Huge damage can be done to a company's reputation if the media, the business community or the general public perceive the company's handling of the crisis as negligent, uncaring or uncoordinated.
The midst of the media frenzy is not the time or place to plan your response. Sound crisis management communications is based on anticipation and preparation. The analogy of fire and life boat drills onboard ships cannot be better applied.
Having the information and answers ready before the questions are fired is essential. Investing time and money ‘front-end' and producing sound strategies for managing the flow of good information during a crisis will go a long way to preserving your reputation. Being calm, concise, controlled and candid in the midst of a crisis can minimise the consequences and reassure concerned parties.
Image Line's crisis response approach is individually designed to ensure that our clients have a comprehensive, fully documented, tested and well-rehearsed response ready to go into action if there is an incident which could generate negative publicity. We passionately believe in working together with our clients to empower them to be able to handle any situation, whenever they are required to do so.