While the internet is a great thing, one of the downsides of it is that it allows bad news to travel very quickly. In fact, it takes just a few seconds for the entire world to know about some sort of mishaps. For businesses, this can be a real killer. Imagine a CEO being caught having an affair, or a video showing employees misbehaving! If such a crisis were to happen, you immediately need the help of an online reputation management company to mitigate the potential damage.
What Is Crisis Management?
Online reputation management (ORM) is a process that includes monitoring what is being said about a company and ensuring that, if something negative appears, it is suppressed as soon as possible. This is done by creating more new positive content. Crisis ORM takes this a bit further, controlling how information is being spread instantly.
How Can You Do Your Own Crisis ORM?
It is best to leave ORM to the professionals. However, there are things you can do yourself. The most important thing is that you have plenty of active social media accounts like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, allowing you to instantly communicate news to thousands of customers. If there is a crisis, you need to turn to these channels to provide your audience with updates regularly. If you acknowledge that a crisis is happening, your customers see that you’re not trying to hide anything, and that you’re actively involved in finding a solution.
For example, an employee may have made a racist comment. You must immediately mention that you do not condone it, so that your customers know that this is an isolated incident. Ignoring it in the hopes that nobody will notice won’t work. People will notice, and by you remaining quiet, they will assume that you share the same view. You must keep people up to date, because this also stops others from spreading false information.
You also have to make sure that you have resources available to manage a crisis. This means you have a PR contact and/or social media manager on your team to deal with this. Any employees who get to work with your online and social media accounts must also be trained in this. They are the first line of response in terms of dealing with the crisis.
The reality is that it is always better to have an ORM company on your books as well. While you shouldn’t outsource personal responses, outsourcing the monitoring of your reputation, and the search engine optimization side of pushing positive content forward and negative content backwards, should be left to the professionals. They can also help you in a crisis, for instance by giving you tips on how to respond, and by instantly creating relevant and positive content. It is difficult to come back from a damaged reputation, but the quicker you act, the more likely it is that you will survive from this crisis and come out on top.