Serious disasters can have a dramatic negative effect on a company’s reputation. If you’ve recently emerged from a crisis, you’re probably dealing with a ton of negative media coverage. It doesn’t matter whether it’s due to a factory recall or the problematic behavior of one of your company’s top executives. You need to take action as soon as possible to repair your business’s reputation.
All the negative press from reputation crises can affect your business’s performance for years to come. It can erode your customer base, dismantle business partnerships, and drive away potential job applicants. Don’t assume that everyone will just forget about it. Negative search results have a way of lingering.
Common Reputation Crises
Here are a few of the most common reputation crises faced by modern companies:
- Product recalls
- Negative reviews from employees
- One-star consumer reviews on sites like Yelp
- Social media blunders
- Biased comparisons of malicious websites
The first step you should take is to hire a reputation management firm that knows how to handle the problem. These experts will help you get a grasp on the situation. They’ll help you understand the implications of the crisis and work toward rebuilding your company’s reputation.
Attempting to fix the company’s reputation alone can do more harm than good. It requires you to allocate an unacceptable amount of time, money, bandwidth, and manpower to crisis resolution. You should be focusing on moving your company forward. Trust the experts to do the rest.
Here’s what you can expect during this process:
Step One: Damage Assessment
The first step any reputation management firm will take is to assess the scope of the damage. They’ll evaluate the search landscape to determine how far the negative press has spread and create a risk assessment matrix. This matrix will allow them to evaluate how the crisis is impacting the company. It will act as a road map to getting things back on track.
Step Two: Setting Goals
Once you understand the scope of the damage, you’ll be better able to set realistic goals for repairing it. Bear in mind that rebuilding a brand’s reputation takes time.
The primary goal should always be to shift the online conversation in your favor. This may take the setting and meeting many less ambitious goals in the days, weeks, and months to come. Figure out what they are now.
Step Three: Create a Roadmap to Recovery
It will take more than just crafting and publishing a carefully worded apology to get your brand’s reputation back on track. You’ll need to create new content, form public relations strategies, and use data analytics to inform your decisions. The complexity of your roadmap will vary based on what kind of problem your company is facing.
Some of the most effective strategies for reputation management include:
- Creating new SEO content or microsites
- Establishing an online review program
- Optimizing the company’s primary website
- Expanding blog content
- Crafting and executing public relations campaigns
- Managing social media presence
- And more
Step Four: Boost Positive Content
Only seven percent of Internet users browse beyond the first page of Google results. That’s good news if you’re facing a reputation crisis. It means you can craft positive content and use SEO to ensure that it out-competes the negative press.
Step Five: Suppress Negative Results
It’s incredibly difficult to get Google to remove negative articles. It’s more effective to craft a new narrative and flood its index with fresh content that reflects that narrative. It may take some time, but eventually, the goodwill outweighs the bad and your brand will begin its rise back to the top.
Tips for Dealing with CEO Reputation Crises
Your company’s CEO is its figurehead. If he or she becomes the target of negative press, it can hurt your entire company. When crafting a strategy to restore a CEO’s reputation, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Post-Crisis Damage Control Is Essential
Remember that the media will judge CEOs and other executives based on their responses to the crisis. A CEO’s response should give him or her the opportunity to set the record straight. That requires keeping a level head and avoiding the bait if reporters ask weighted questions.
You Need to Set the Record Straight
Flooding Google and other search engines with positive articles about the CEO can help the entire company. It will push down the negative search results and make it easier to find out about the CEO’s accomplishments. Remember that while everyone makes mistakes, a serious reputation crisis can misrepresent a CEO’s legacy and destabilize his or her career. You need to make it right.
There’s No Such Thing as an Isolated Incident
It may be tempting to assume that the poor behavior of a company’s CEO will be viewed as a reflection of his or her character. The press, business associates, and average consumers view a CEO’s reputation crisis as a company-wide problem. You can’t afford to just leave a top-performing executive out to dry. Ignoring the problem could take your entire company down with the problematic leader.
If your company is experiencing a reputation crisis, you should seek help immediately. Don’t put it off until the negative media coverage is spiraling out of control. Contact BrightPast to get expert help crafting and implementing an advanced reputation management strategy that produces favorable results.