In today’s modern online world, damaging your reputation can be very easy. A single social media post, bad interview, or negative event can suddenly spread across the internet and leave you vulnerable. Having a plan for managing your reputation and building it back after a damaging event is an important step in managing your business.
What Is a Damaging Event?
A damaging event refers to something that has occurred that has caused reputational damage to your business. Several types of damaging events can occur, so it helps to have an agile crisis plan in place so that you can adapt and react to the event’s fallout.
Common examples of damaging events include a social media posting, a data breach, a poor review, a lawsuit, employee misconduct, or allegations of misconduct. All of these different damaging events can cause upheaval in a business and hurt your reputation. Consumers are increasingly cautious of whom they work with or purchase from.
So when your reputation takes a hit, it hurts your bottom line and your reputation among other businesses and stakeholders.
How To Bounce Back from a Damaging Event
Many businesses don’t have a clear plan in place for coming back from a damaging event. They make mistakes like going silent or denying claims rather than working from a point of strategic strength. That can worsen a business’s reputation and lead to further damage.
Instead, follow these tips for bouncing back from a damaging event:
1. Communicate Clearly
It can further damage your reputation when you remain silent after a damaging event or crisis. People might think you’re trying to avoid the issue and hoping it will blow over rather than addressing the problem at hand. Instead, communicate clearly with your audiences and let them know your steps to address the issue. Apologize sincerely, shift focus to the positives, and cater to online demand for a renewed business outlook.
2. Take Responsibility
Apologizing for a mistake is a major part of returning from a hit to your reputation. You need to take responsibility for the crisis and give a heartfelt apology demonstrating how you accept fault. You will move forward to address the issue so it doesn’t happen again.
Over time, your actions will speak louder than your words, so don’t just issue an apology and move on. Instead, devise a plan so that the crisis does not occur again and communicate that plan with your audiences.
3. Start With Stakeholders
While a large number of people will need to be appeased after a damaging event. The first group you need to make amends to is your stakeholders. These people have a stake in your business, like a shareholder or board of directors.
You need them back on your side before you can address the issue at large with customers and business partners. Knowing who these stakeholders are is an important first step in getting back into their good books.
4. Be Authentic
If you issue an apology that isn’t heartfelt or attempt to push the blame for a situation onto something else, it can further damage to your business reputation. Instead, you need to be authentic, honest, and meaningful in communicating with your followers.
You need to identify what caused the issue and avoid going overboard in your apology. Ensure you can follow through on promises before making them and avoid knee-jerk responses.
5. Work with an Expert
Trying to come back from a reputational crisis is a hard hill to climb. Trying to do it all alone might not be possible for your business. That’s where a professional reputation management company like Status Labs comes in. A team of experts will be able to put a plan in place to help you bounce back from a crisis and prepare for the future so that a major event doesn’t occur again.