Businesses of all sizes rely on their reputation to attract top talent, acquire customers, and differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace. And while a good reputation can take years to build, one mere misstep or negative event can undermine that work in hours. If you aren’t proactively protecting your reputation now, make it your 2023 resolution with these four easy steps:
1. Monitor online conversation
You’re likely monitoring your own social media channels for negative comments, but are you looking at broader conversation? Upgrade your monitoring protocol to include mentions of your brand, as well as any hashtags or keywords that are closely associated with your industry and tap a social media expert to develop a response protocol for addressing negative feedback or conversation appropriately. Doing so can help mitigate risk to your reputation and show customers and clients that you value their feedback.
2. Practice transparency
Today’s consumers have access to volumes of information on any subject at their fingertips, and much of it is untrue, or at least unvetted. The best way to avoid becoming the subject of an armchair investigation is to be proactively transparent on topics that are important to your customers, like environmental responsibility and diversity and inclusion. Being honest about your successes and limitations, and the steps you are taking to improve in those areas, builds trust and demonstrates shared values with your most important stakeholders.
3. Invest in crisis communications planning
No company is impervious to crisis. The key to managing a crisis or negative event is proper preparation, including knowing your key vulnerabilities and having a plan to respond quickly if an issue arises. Work with your in-house or external crisis managers to develop and stress test a solid crisis plan that will help you act quickly and confidently in the face of an unexpected negative event.
4. Foster a positive company culture
Especially in the wake of the Great Resignation, employees are powerful ambassadors of your brand. A good company culture helps to not only attract and retain top talent, but also promote your company’s reputation. Encourage open communication and transparency within your workforce. Seek feedback from employees at all levels and promote a culture where everyone feels valued and supported.
By following these tips, you can help protect your company’s reputation in 2023 and beyond.