Anticipation as key on shielding reputation
Crisis are intrinsic to the daily management of organizations; it is said that throughout their history at least 95% of companies will have to face a reputational crisis.
The construction of a timely and effective crisis management is essential to mitigate the impacts that the crisis generates on the reputation of the organization, therefore anticipation and preparation make a difference when the crisis activates and time and chaos play against. Although in the latest Global Survey on Reputation Risk study conducted by Deloitte, 87% of the senior managers consulted recognized the reputational risk “more important” or “much more important” than other strategic risks faced by companies, in this same study, only 22% admitted having systematic and permanent platforms in their company to measure risk and address reputational crises.
Organizations, regardless of their business line or size, can and should establish guidelines that empower the different areas to know in advance what they should or should not do, from the communication point of view, when managing a reputational crisis.
In general terms, the elaboration of a Crisis Management Manual involves a methodical and careful process that includes properly mapping of possible reputational risks, categorizing the possibilities of occurrence and impact, defining the constitution of a crisis committee, establishing alert and reaction flowcharts, generating of a map of priority audiences with which the organization would communicate in a possible crisis and develop basic communication materials for each risk, according to the public’s approach.
Although in essence the Crisis Management Manual is a document with restricted access, due to the sensitivity of the information it has, once this material is available, it is essential to disseminate and train, according to the degree of information that corresponds, both to the Committee of Crisis such as the so-called information gatekeepers (security, receptionists, call center and other initial contact points) and other internal areas that assume a key position when applying the defined protocols and actions.
Throughout our 28 years of experience in Agencia Interamericana de Comunicación, we have accompanied business of all sizes and types, both in the construction of their Crisis Manuals, and in the development of internal information processes and executive exercise, in a way that they have a solution tailored to their capabilities to shield their corporate reputation from the impacts of a possible crisis.