Six Key Steps That Help Recover Your Reputation After a Crisis
Jill Allread, APR
Jill Allread leads PCI and provides executive counsels to a wide variety of organizations and individuals to enhance their brands, strategies and reputations.
An agency owner for more than 20 years, Jill also draws upon her experience as a daily newspaper reporter and editor when helping clients more effectively tell their story through strategic communications and planning.
A nationally recognized crisis management counselor in the areas of healthcare, nonprofit, conservation, business and associations, she also advises clients in public affairs strategies, building on her past experience as Director of Public Affairs and Public Relations for Chicago Zoological Society.
Your company has spent countless hours managing a crisis that threatened to erode customer, investor or employee confidence. Once the situation calms down your team may feel they can take a break from the pressures of navigating a high-stakes issue. In reality the work to repair damage to your reputation is just beginning.
Many organizations and companies feel they are fully prepared for the “what ifs” because they have a crisis plan or playbook in place. However, we counsel many clients through crisis situations – labor and financial issues, lawsuits, cyber breaches, attack campaigns and protests, disasters, and more – and often find they underestimate the work to be done to manage the residual effects of the crisis.
Once the pressures have subsided and the crisis has faded from the headlines, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and conduct strategic planning and follow-up for post-crisis recovery. The first thing is to ask: How seriously did the crisis influence the public perception of my institution’s brand?
Following are six key steps your team should take to ensure you continue the momentum to repair your organization’s brand following a crisis:
1. Conduct a crisis post-mortem debrief and analysis.
2. Follow through on any promises made to the public, employees and other stakeholders. Proactively communicate those actions.
3. Make organizational, process or leadership changes as needed.
4. Counsel leaders to adopt an inspirational message to renew organizational confidence.
5. Communicate your commitment to rebuilding any damaged relationships with important audiences.
6. Focus on internal communications to bolster support and understanding among employees, customers, donors and other critical groups.
Crises happen quickly, and the effects can linger for a very long time. A post-crisis recovery plan is a wise investment for the long-term success of your brand and reputation.