Crisis Management: The best way to keep a good reputation
Author: Miriam Guarcello
Date of Publication: 17/01/2023
Crisis Management refers to the process by which a company deals with a situation. In fact, this situation might threaten to damage brand reputation, corporate performance and in extreme cases lead to bankruptcy. For this reason, it is important through crisis management to implement various practices to prevent, manage and mitigate the negative consequences of the crisis. So, when a crisis happens, the first result is that sales suddenly block, as a kind of consumer’s 'revenge'. Afterwards, the public interest that follows the crisis will disrupt the normal operations of the organization. In addition, it may also have an impact on its political, legal, financial and governmental affairs.
What to do if it happens
A good company is prepared to deal with a crisis when it knows what to do before, during and after a critical event. In this way, it protects its reputation from threats and reduces its impact. So, this is what we call a “Crisis Management”. In particular, a Crisis Management plan is divided into three parts:
This first phase concerns the analysis of the company's internal and external environment. During this time, there is an attempt to identify any limitations, shortcomings or any type of vulnerability that may pose a risk to the integrity of the business. Therefore, the entire company must be prepared for possible crises and must already know how to react and deal with it. First of all, a correct mentality should exist. This means that the company mustn’t put itself in a defensive position, but in a neutral one as much as possible. In addition, it should see it as something that the company takes responsibility for. What’s more, it is necessary to identify qualified people in the team ready to tackle a problem and prepare them through simulations. It is also important to make an analysis of the areas of vulnerability and to monitor the weak signals. So, a crisis plan is drawn up to have a strategy ready in case it happens.
Response (Crisis Management)
The second phase concerns the company's reaction to an imminent or ongoing crisis. This is based on the guidelines established during the preparation phase, and the possibility of remedy to incidents and various crisis scenarios that may arise. Therefore, the crisis communication process, framed in the response phase of crisis management, can be a strategic lever if it is set up correctly. So, in a time of crisis, it is crucial to be able to deliver the right news at the right time to the right people, always putting those most affected, their families and employees first.
Recovery (or Resilience)
The last phase is about knowing how to take advantage of the moment of crisis to relaunch oneself and turn it into an opportunity. The first aspect is to declare the end of the crisis through communication and how you have overcome it. Immediately there must be a relaunch plan. Finally, it is good to make the most of the opportunities of the crisis. For example, to know how to look at the other side of the coin. Also, bear in mind that a problem can become an opportunity if one knows how to seize the positive aspects.
Do not underestimate it
Even today, many companies do not have a Crisis Management plan and find themselves unprepared. That happens because it is often underestimated. But nowadays, that we live in a digitized world, news are disseminated really fast. So just one click could damage your image. Do not fall into this error.
References are based on the author’s experience and studies.