We live in a time where both words and rhetoric can become wildly divisive and misinterpreted. Brands are more on edge than ever when preparing and delivering messages. There is always the unsettling possibility of upsetting a wide audience if brands make a mistake. So what is currently the best way to avoid potential negative reactions and bad press? Putting proactive reputation management in place with a plan and making it a high priority.
What is Proactive Reputation Management?
You can think of proactive reputation management as preparing for any unseen mishap about your brand and brand messages before it happens. When your brand makes time to manage a potential crisis, it can save your reputation. These three P’s can guide your brand when using proactive reputation management: planning, preparation and patience.
When your brand has a plan for potential negative outcomes, it has the ability to focus on the more important parts of the campaign or product launch. Taking that unnecessary stress out early by planning is also key for efficiency. If your brand plans ahead, it’ll have greater flexibility because you’ll know what you want your message to be and you can do things both more effectively and efficiently.
You may be thinking, aren’t planning and preparing the same? In some circumstances, they can be. But with proactive reputation management, you first plan out everything you need and then prepare as if what could go wrong does go wrong. When your brand combines planning and preparation it may miss out on key aspects. Instead, use them as complementary steps to have a clearer and concise crisis plan.
There are many times when negative reactions to brand messages, social media posts and products are commonplace. This is where brands have to find that happy medium of not responding too soon or too late. When brands respond too quickly, it can oftentimes make the issue even worse. On the other hand, responding too late can send the wrong message that the brand approves of the mistake. This is where a great balance of patience comes into play. We want to have that great balance of patience to help us make accurate and authentic messages. By saying things when we have accurate contextual knowledge we’re able to answer our audience and stakeholders’ questions.
How we can help...
Proactive reputation management is important now more than ever. The year 2020 was a wide-ranging example of the need for proactive reputation management in almost every industry. When there is an issue or crisis, it’s easier to resolve if you’ve planned and prepared ahead of time.
EKR can add to your company’s plan by offering guidance on proactive reputation management and creating a crisis plan. By using proactive reputation management in your brand, you will have the ability to make a mistake look like a small blip rather than a defining characteristic. Reach out here and see how we change the game.