Keep Your Company’s Reputation SafeApril 10, 2020
Three Ways to Keep Your Reputation Safe During Times of Crisis
During a tumultuous time like this, how do you keep your company’s reputation safe? Although shelter-in-place orders are a thing of the (recent) past, our days still look much different than they did at the beginning of 2020. Instead of face-to-face interaction, we spend our days communicating with masks on – or via Zoom meetings. During such a sensitive time, it’s arguably more important than ever that you keep your company’s reputation safe – and that has everything to do with what you say and how you say it.
Be Understanding to Customers
Picture this true story: A local chamber of commerce is negotiating with a bride who had to cancel her wedding due to COVID-19. The venue operator has insisted on keeping the deposit and following the rules set in place before the pandemic. Was the juice worth the squeeze?
At a time when people are struggling in so many ways, it’s best to reassess your policies for refunds and be flexible. Remember that reputation is a long game – you want to keep your company’s reputation safe in the long term.
Time Your Philanthropic Messaging Wisely
Consider another real-world example. A company recently reached out to Sunwest asking how to best spread the word about their philanthropic gift to a local organization. Although this message would normally be well-received, this same company recently had to lay off employees and cut bonuses due to COVID-19. How does an organization communicate both messages at once?
This is an instance where timing is key in order to keep your company’s reputation safe. Do you want your valued employees and audience to be loyal to your brand once the crisis is over? While corporate social responsibility and giving back are both important, you don’t want to inadvertently send the message that you are taking an employee’s salary and donating it to charity.
Communicate with Care
The pandemic has impacted virtually every industry, but some businesses are feeling it more than others and questioning whether they will be able to hold on. Right now, your inbox might be flooded with emails from vendors and businesses who are thriving in the midst of the crisis. If you happen to be part of an industry that’s benefited from the pandemic, it’s important to use extreme caution when communicating because you don’t want to appear opportunistic.
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Simply put, communicating effectively can be difficult. And we’ve been forced to navigate the already complicated task of communicating in new and innovative ways, but that doesn’t mean we can sacrifice the point of communicating in the first place. Keep these points in mind to keep your company’s reputation safe as you continue to tell your brand’s story during the pandemic.