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Heather Astbury. Heather Astbury.
08 April 2020 Posted by 

Be a crisis optimist: Reputation management tips in crisis

BE a crisis optimist - this is the message that award-winning public relations firm The Reputation People is encouraging business leaders to take on board.

A corporate crisis has become a case of “when, not if”. According to statistics from the PwC Global Crisis 2019 survey, 69% of business leaders have experienced a corporate crisis in the last five years – and a staggering 95% expect to face one soon.

But it isn’t all doom and gloom. The Reputation People believe that behind every corporate crisis is a significant opportunity to drive brand awareness and improve your market position.

“The public are very forgiving when something goes wrong, especially if it isn’t your fault,”, Managing Director and Co-Founder of The Reputation People Heather Astbury said.

“But what they won’t forgive is poor communication, because that is entirely under your control.”

Ms Astbury said when a corporate crisis turned viral, we had all seen how a well-managed communications plan could quickly turn a negative situation into one that was positive.

Rapid response, utmost honesty and consistent statements all play a part in the successful crisis communications we see in the media.”

However, she said it was important to remember that not all crises were subject to a media frenzy or were in fact newsworthy.

“Many smaller businesses overlook the need for a crisis communications plan, due to not being directly in the public eye.

But from an ill-timed tweet to a negative customer review, in an age where virtually everyone can post content online, having a robust crisis plan has never been more essential.”

Ms Astbury said the best practice was to issue your first communication within 15 minutes of becoming aware of an issue.

“At that point you probably won’t be able to say very much, but it is important to say something to establish yourself as the authority and source of credible information.”

“In order to act that quickly you have to be properly prepared in advance.”

To conclude, she said you could not wait until a crisis happened to decide how you were going to handle communication.

“Businesses need to identify potential threats, prepare clear, consistent statements and select, brief and train spokespeople.”

The Reputation People staff are experts in crisis communications and their vast range of experience has helped organisations, from small, independently owned businesses, to large global PLCs, to ensure that they were prepared in the face of a corporate crisis.

To learn more about The Reputation People, visit www.thereputationpeople.com. For further information on their crisis communications training and workshops, contact hello@thereputationpeople.com.


Michael Walls
P: 0407 783 413
E: Michael@accessnews.com.au

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