The extensive use of technology in businesses has meant that businesses that make mistakes either through their marketing strategies or on social media are accountable to the public. It is almost impossible to hide from a crisis in the social media world that we live in.
Creative brand designers explain that the steps you take after a PR scandal are just as crucial as the event that led to the scandal. The following tips will help you recover from a PR crisis and enable you to regain the trust of your customers and other stakeholders.
Take Charge and Acknowledge What Happened
While you should be cautious about how you handle communication after a PR scandal, it is vital to get on top of the issue as fast as possible. Acknowledge what happened; avoid prolonged periods of silence after a scandal as the public may assume that the silence is a sign of being guilty.
When you address the scandal fast, you show the world how seriously you are taking the issue and that your plan is to amend the damage caused as soon as possible.
Always have a crisis management team and consider the following before issuing statements to the public:
- Who will speak about the scandal, to deliver the message to the target audience?
- What is the public saying about the scandal?
- Will the statement be adequate to contain the scandal, or what else needs to be done to neutralize the effects of the scandal?
After a PR scandal, your reputation and brand will require rebuilding before customers can trust you again. Have a well thought out strategy that ensures you convey all positive details about your brand, such as financial stability and ability to listen to customers’ concerns and needs.
Customers and the public should recognize your brand as trustworthy and one that has taken measures to improve after a scandal. Your actions should show remorse and show a willingness to change.
Assess the Damage
Conduct surveys, evaluations or assessments to assess the effects of the scandal on your brand. This includes conducting customer surveys, listening to what social media is saying about the scandal and checking Google results. The evaluation will give you a baseline and enable you to know how serious the situation is.
Once the evaluation is complete, the results will guide you on how to mediate the negative impacts caused by the scandal. It will also make you understand the customers’ attitude towards your business and give you key pointers on how to regain the customer’s trust and loyalty.
Amend the Situation
Although an apology is necessary during a scandal, it may not be enough to satisfy the resentful parties. You may need to offer a gesture to rectify the situation. Find out if there is anything that can be done or given to change the situation.
Depending on your line of business and the scandal, this may involve offering compensation to the aggrieved parties or even repairing faulty or damaged products.
In the wake of a scandal, things may seem terrible. Remember to use the incident as an opportunity to learn and grow. Turn the setbacks into stepping-stones and rebuild a stronger brand.