How to protect your brand reputation?

Recent widespread global acclaim and popularity of the social media has played a revolutionary role in connecting people and formulating trends. With its revolutionizing advent, social media has diversified its purpose and exceeded expectations by opening avenues for open discussions about several topics like politics, social events, and controversies. From the connector of masses it has improved its stance to be to be a provider of vital information to the masses regarding various products and service. So, what does it actually provide us with? Social media has become a primary medium showcasing continuously evolving yet valuable review and information regarding customer and third party views, specifically focusing on the experience, opinions and traits. Simultaneously, it can also behave as a detent to the fame and acclaim of many brands, which is often addressed as “reputational risks”. With social media leading the way in becoming an eminent source for reputational risks, inclusive of brand degradation, legal and regulatory compliance scandals, threats to security and privacy and many controversies about employee or human resource misconduct.

Sometimes company put up debate and argues that effective human resources prove to be their most important asset, but they do generally agree that brand and reputation are arguably more crucial. So when a scandal or controversy regarding a product or service speedily spreads or starts to “trend” on Twitter, a devastating and adversely long lasting impact is sure to befallen on the company’s reputation. Due to the explosion of online reviewing websites, chat rooms and other related websites, businesses find their products and services are bordering on fragility.

How can a company seek to avoid such deterrent content on the social media that proves to be ultimately disparaging to the company’s reputation?

Devices techniques and responses to safeguards corporate reputation and brand names has become a primary requisite for much business. They are now keenly focused on the boardroom agenda as executives understand that to deal with the heat wave from the social media, they must learn to give effective responses and stay positive to the criticism and crises that emanate.

Entrepreneurs are taking the lady here by personally drafting the social media strategy to enable external and internal people associated with the company to share information in the way that is effective. Many businesses are now focused on recruiting new personnel that are specifically designated to handle the social media management. They play a key role in the development of product, its social media branding and enhancing its brand promotion. Realizing that the reputation risk is a top level concern and social media has surfaced as a new domain to either build or destroy reputations…board meetings are becoming more intensified. The employees are working on the task to achieve a deeper understanding of what it triggering so much degradation and consumer contempt towards the product or service. Board members seek to ask dense questions that help them understand how these social media mediums and channels are able to impact reputation. A large amount of experienced staff are often designated to resolve an event of reputational threat. A recent survey conducted by Forbes over a prominent company unveiled that a significant eighty eight per cent of the more than 300 senior executives, were explicitly focusing solely on reputation risk as a key business challenge.

Many businesses attribute an estimate of 25% of their market value to reputation. So what are the tools that entrepreneurs find effective in addressing the reputational crisis as a tough challenge? Many of them insist on adopting a preemptive mindset while tackling with this challenge. While some brand-tarnishing events may be unpredictable and unavoidable, companies need to get better at risk management. It is found that in almost every case, the most catastrophic failures would have been survivable had there been better risk management. Company boards may be made aware of the risks facing their businesses by risk-mapping, which are graphic illustrations of foreseeable events and their likely impact. But these risk maps are limited by the ability of risk managers to imagine scenarios, so may miss both the unexpected events and the most obvious failures which often bring companies down. Experts are recommending that companies take a stakeholder-focused look at reputation risk, considering critical stakeholders, such as regulators, consumers and employees. They need to look at what underpins their reputation stakeholder by stakeholder. It might be different in the eyes of the customers and in the eyes of regulators. By taking a stakeholder-focused approach, it forces you to ask questions you don’t ask in the conventional risk-mapping process. Companies need a sophisticated crisis management strategy in place, for instance, knowing in advance which executive in the company will be able to comment to the media and ensuring the situation is quickly contained by suspending relevant activities. Some companies have practice run-throughs of their crisis management strategies to make sure they will be ready to act if the worst happens.

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