This month’s course was Reputation Management Strategies. The course met and exceeded my expectations when looking back at my original goals. I wanted to:
1) Identify potential risks to my client’s reputation;
2) Plan ways to mitigate those risks; and
3) Create a plan to handle potential situations that could damage my client’s reputation.
I did all these things and more.
I did not realize the planning that goes into reputation management prior to this class. I understood the importance of not making inflammatory statements and keeping up with proper social etiquette; however, I feel somewhat remiss by not formulating a template or crisis strategy prior to this class. This is important.
A story will be told any time a notable event happens. Will your company shape the narrative, or will your company react to the narrative? Crises befall many companies, and the way companies respond often dictates the public’s perception of that company. This can determine whether a company’s reputation recovers from a crisis or not.
I developed a detailed plan for a crisis communication team to help ensure my client can respond effectively to any potentially detrimental media situation he faces. I assigned roles, outlined training, and provided a crisis communication template for the team. I am confident my client can successfully handle a crisis if he follows my detailed plan.
I was originally unimpressed with the materials until I looked at the practical applications of the crisis communication plan. I identified historical and current situations where companies and artists did not have plans in place to handle crises. One of these situations was a missed opportunity by a record label to turn something as horrific as a terror attack into a method to enhance the artist’s reputation while benefitting the victims and their families.
I messaged Ariana Grande on Twitter, suggesting she have her PR personnel setup some sort of benefit for the victims of the Manchester Bombing. Not only did they not do something to benefit the victims and their families, but Ariana Grande cancelled her tour. I do not understand the logic behind this, but I know I vaguely remember bad press about Ariana Grande in a restaurant. Positive efforts to help those affected by this terror attack would have overshadowed the negative press from her restaurant incident from a year or two ago.
This class has helped shape how I look at crises, and I am glad to know how to minimize potential negative impacts while helping my client and future clients.