The Importance of Reputation Management
Reputation management is more important than ever. It has moved beyond public and media relations to dealing with online reviews and comments as well as community and social activism. Companies need to realize that a proactive approach to reputation management puts them in a better position to deal with problems and solve them faster before the situation escalates.
What exactly is reputation management? According to the Institute for PR, issues or reputation management is “an anticipatory, strategic management process that helps companies detect and respond appropriately to emerging trends or changes.” These trends or changes could form into a larger issue, which could raise awareness or concern of important stakeholders of the company, such as employees, customers, partners and the public at large.
There are a variety of issues or problems that a company may face that need to be analyzed and resolved. Some problems may be small and easy to solve while others may have a larger impact on your organization. The goal is to create plans to manage these issues so that you can handle problems quickly and effectively. Being prepared for any upcoming issue that you may face puts you in a better position to control the narrative and mitigate high impact situations.
However, when it comes to issues management, many companies fail to identify potential issues that could affect their business and manage them properly. This can lead to situations that quickly can become crisis situations. To avoid having crisis situations, actively monitor and assess trends and developments within your industry that may ultimately affect your business. Once issues are identified, then you can determine if an action plan needs to be developed.
A crisis can occur at anytime to your business, whether it is a product recall, accident, social media incident, etc. Hopefully you have a crisis communications plan in place to manage this crisis when it occurs.