With the prevalent use of social media and online communication, negative publicity can spread like wildfire, causing irreparable damage to a company’s reputation. False and fake news, in particular, can spread rapidly on digital platforms, leading to widespread outrage and backlash. That’s where Crisis ORM (Online Reputation Management) comes in.
Implementing Crisis ORM strategies is crucial for companies to protect their reputation and mitigate the impact of negative publicity. In this blog, we will delve deeper into the importance of Crisis ORM and provide valuable guidance on how to effectively respond to negative publicity to safeguard your company’s reputation.
5 Reasons to Adopt Crisis ORM Plan
Your business needs to establish an effective crisis management plan to prepare for unexpected events and mitigate the damage caused. A cogent crisis management strategy can further reduce the negative impact of disastrous situations on your reputation and finances.
You Can Stay Prepared for the Worst Case Scenario with Effective ORM
Companies can face unexpected crises at any moment. This highlights the importance of having a crisis ORM plan in place, so you can take swift and effective action. Early preparedness is crucial to minimizing the negative impact of a crisis on a business.
You Can Avoid a Loss in Revenue
A single negative review on the internet can cause a 22% loss in revenue for your business. Therefore, you need to take quick action to respond effectively to the negative review. The key is to have a pre-established crisis plan to ensure the company’s reputation does not deteriorate further.
You Can Limit the Negative Impact of a Crisis
With a robust crisis management plan, you can prepare for all probable scenarios and identify the most effective strategies to mitigate the damage. You can also take a proactive approach to crisis management by communicating with stakeholders, such as customers, employees, investors, and the media.
You Can Build Credibility
A well-structured crisis ORM plan demonstrates a company’s commitment to the safety and well-being of its employees and stakeholders. It also reinforces the organization’s reliability, ultimately contributing to establishing a positive reputation. Conversely, a lack of a crisis management plan may raise investor concerns about the company’s ability to handle unexpected situations. It may also adversely affect its image. Therefore, a crisis management plan is crucial for businesses to maintain stakeholders’ trust and establish a strong reputation.
You Can Identify Potential Liabilities
Creating an ORM crisis plan includes scenario planning and risk assessment of the firm. It allows the company to identify potential liabilities and areas that require improvement, leading to ongoing learning.
Responding to Negative Publicity Online – Best Practices
How you respond to negative comments tells the public, employees, and potential investors a lot about your company. Dealing with negative responses and turning them into positive interactions can help with online reputation management. Let’s look at a few steps to create an effective crisis ORM strategy.
Identify the Issue and Employ Your Response Team
When a crisis hits, the first step is identifying the issue and activating your response team. The response team should be composed of individuals from different departments who can work together to address the crisis. They should be trained and ready to respond quickly, taking appropriate steps to manage the situation effectively. However, you can also outsource ORM to an experienced firm to ensure a timely response.
Develop a Realistic Strategy
To effectively manage a crisis, it’s crucial to develop a realistic strategy addressing the specific issue. This includes taking responsibility for any mistakes made and outlining a personalized plan of action for the team to implement. A generic approach is unlikely to be effective, so it’s essential to tailor the strategy to specific circumstances.
Draft an Effective Response
It’s essential to draft an effective response addressing the issue at hand and clearly communicating the company’s position. The response should be honest, transparent, and empathetic, with a clear plan of action to mitigate the damage caused by the crisis. A well-crafted response can help rebuild trust with stakeholders and limit the negative impact of the crisis.
Monitor Your Reputation Closely
Monitoring your online reputation closely is crucial to identifying and addressing any potential issues before they escalate into crises. Regularly tracking your brand’s mentions and feedback on social media and review sites can help you stay on top of any negative sentiment and take prompt action to address it. This can help protect your reputation and maintain the trust of your customers and stakeholders.
Perform a Review
After a crisis is resolved, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough evaluation to determine what worked and what didn’t. You must also analyze effective strategies and identify areas for improvement. This will provide valuable insights that will help you refine your crisis management plan for the future.
Crisis ORM Case Studies
There are several notable examples of crisis communication and reputation management strategies adopted by some of the top firms. Let’s take a look.
The case of Audi in the 1980s highlights the importance of honesty, transparency, and patience in crisis management. While the brand didn’t exactly face a reputation crisis, some of its vehicles experienced sudden backward driving. This created a negative public perception among customers, which caused sales to plummet for years. Despite the issue being attributed to driver error rather than a fault with the cars, Audi took complete responsibility. Their effective crisis management ultimately led to the restoration of their reputation and helped them survive the crisis.
Samsung’s flagship Galaxy Note 7 phones were found defective and dangerous, as their battery would malfunction, catch fire, or explode. Of course, the brand lost huge sales, and its reputation was tarnished online. Additionally, the product became a target of a popular meme circulating on the internet. Samsung handled the crisis by taking responsibility, acknowledging that they weren’t sure why this was happening. They took a few steps to solve the problem and let the public know that they have implemented a Quality Assurance program. Moreover, they reviewed and responded to negative reviews quickly to avoid the negative reputation of the brand.
Target experienced an unauthorized leak of customer data on its online website due to a technical fault. It took more than two weeks to discover the issue, after which the customers were informed about the problem. At that time, it was one of the leading data breaches in the retail industry.
The brand faced criticism for a delay in disclosing the information, though they accepted their fault in public. The firm agreed to pay the affected consumers $10,000 each as compensation. Following this incident, Target worked on its IT Security flaws and online reputation management.
McDonald’s launched a social media campaign in which it paid Twitter to promote its #McDStories hashtag. The food chain expected to have heartwarming tweets, where people could share positive tweets about the restaurant. Instead of creating a positive promotion, the campaign backfired when people started to write nasty comments about food poisoning and a list of complaints about the ingredients, which spread all over the platform.
The social media campaign lasted for only two hours, after which McDonald’s took it down to stop the negative publicity. During this situational crisis, McDonald’s efficiently responded to the negative publicity by canceling the campaign altogether. Although many people may have become aware of the negative comments, it prevented any additional damage from occurring.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi
The COVID-19 pandemic posed challenges for medical centers and hospitals worldwide, including Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi in the UAE. Despite the early outbreak, the clinic expanded its COVID-19 emergency response while continuing to care for other patients with complex needs.
The Cleaveland Clinic took a proactive approach to crisis management as it implemented its preemptive crisis communication plan. The clinic’s executives prioritized staff well-being by providing meditation spaces, sleeping rooms, and proper food. This example underscores the importance of Crisis Online Reputation Management (ORM) and demonstrates how healthcare entities can enhance their reputation.
An effective crisis ORM plan is critical to safeguarding your business, preserving a positive and reputable image, and avoiding long-lasting repercussions that could threaten its success. Without a well-prepared crisis management system, a company risks incurring significant losses and damaging its competitive advantage.
To ensure a smooth process, communication and feedback are essential, as they can help improve future crisis management strategies. It’s vital to remember that a response to negative publicity can make or break a company’s reputation. With the right team and clear guidelines, successful online reputation management can be achieved.
Digital Caterpillar provides effective crisis ORM through their experienced team of professionals. We offer customized crisis management strategies and continuous monitoring to ensure a positive online reputation for our clients.
- What is Crisis ORM, and why is it important?
Crisis ORM is the process of monitoring, addressing, and influencing the firm’s online reputation. Your team must be actively involved in responding to reviews on social media and news platforms. Having Crisis ORM is important for the following reasons:
- It protects the reputation of the firm.
- Crisis ORM can reduce damage control.
- It can also develop positive stakeholder perception.
- The strategy can avoid losses in sales.
- How can negative publicity affect my business?
Negative publicity can ruin the brand’s reputation, lose sales and revenue, decrease customer confidence, impact employee morale, and concern the stakeholders.
3. What steps can I take to respond to negative publicity effectively?
The steps that can be taken to respond to negative publicity may include:
- Identifying the issue and employing a team of experts
- Developing a realistic strategy
- Drafting an effective response plan
- Monitoring your reputation
- Reviewing the situation
4. How to respond to negative publicity effectively?
A firm can respond to negative publicity with a pre-planned customized strategy. Every situation may need a tailored plan, as a generic crisis approach may not work for all crisis events. The firm can also take some time to think about how to respond to the controversy to avoid making huge blunders.