When it comes to online reputation management, one of the most important aspects is knowing what to do during a crisis. Preventing is important, working on online reputation every day from the communications and marketing department of your company is critical. However, no one is totally exempt from a reputation crisis, and not knowing how to deal with it can be the cause of various legal and financial problems. Managing reputation crises has become more than a specialty within the online reputation management world. In this post, we are going to analyze a little about what this job consists of.
The starting point for online reputation crisis management is the communications policy of an organization. The communication policy could be defined as a manual of functions or the description of a task or process, which establishes the objectives that a company wants to achieve in order to define how they are to be achieved. In addition, it is also necessary to define the internal and external activities that the company will carry out and that should be available to workers, managers, employees, consumers, users or customers, and, in this way, the company will identify itself as an organization based on objectives that can be reached by its problem-solving capacity.
Communications in a company are fundamental since they allow to share ideas, feelings, opinions, and thoughts. Thanks to communications, you can create a corporate image and culture, which is, essentially, what you want to convey about the company to others, as well as how you want the public to perceive the image of your organization.
Among many functions, an adequate communication policy helps to mark the relationships you want to have with the press, workers, customers, suppliers, or how to manage and resolve conflicts. In the case of internal or external conflicts, a communication policy will allow you to know what to do if they directly affect the company’s reputation. The example par excellence is online reputation crises: Some of the most serious problems with which an organization can deal with today.
Read also: Huge lessons in bad reputation management you need to know, by ReputationDefender
What is a reputation crisis? We speak of online reputation crisis when the company makes a mistake regarding customer service, commercial, legal or industrial misconduct, or when, due to the dirty games of competition, someone is responsible for messing up the image of an organization. Online reputation crises are characterized because the information that affects the public image of the company becomes viral and, ergo, is almost impossible to stop.
With the emergence of social networks, reputation crises have increased since the bad comments about a product, service, or an organization posted online can be seen and shared by millions of people, so that the cause of the bad reputation expands so fast that it can’t be rectified on time.
The main causes of an online reputation crisis are basically:
- Mistakes related to the bad management of the corporate image committed by the organization, which goes viral before being rectified.
- When the company is accused of violating laws related to labor, the environment or health ethics.
- Negative comments on social networks towards the organization and its services made by users, or by trolls or hackers hired by competitors.
- Mistreatment to users in relation to customer service, after they complain about the bad products or services of the company.
Now, the tasks that are normally carried out to manage online reputation crises, start with a constant and exhaustive observation of what happens on the Internet. Someone who is in charge of managing these crises should, above all, use good monitoring tools to check the web and the social media to know what they are saying about someone or an organization on the Internet. This is the only way to know, in the first place, whether a crisis is imminent or whether it is only necessary to keep working on online reputation management through the traditional and effective SEO and digital marketing methods. If you follow the popular Scandal TV series, you have more or less an idea of what this is all about.
In the case of an online reputation crisis, what is commonly done is, first off, to draw a contingency plan to execute when the warning signs are turned on. This plan should include a detailed analysis of the origin of the crisis and an understanding of it. Subsequently, if it is the case, it is necessary to attend to the complaints of users, and apologize and compensate for the damages in some way. If the conflict that caused the crisis affects a community in some way, it is necessary to openly inform society about it and to announce how things will be resolved.
In addition to staying informed and updated about the latest ORM and SEO trends and techniques, an online reputation crisis manager should have a great capacity for empathy. It is vital to be able to think like all the people related to your organization. That’s the big little key.
* Featured Image courtesy of Pixabay at Pexels.com