No business owner ever expects or wants to face an online reputation crisis. However, such situations can happen when you least expect it. Your business’s online reputation is built over time; however, one negative story in today’s connected world can quickly do significant damage and poison your reputation with both current and potential customers. That is why it is essential that all businesses take the necessary steps to prevent and manage any online reputation crisis if they arise. In this blog post, Hugues Joublin discusses how you can protect your business against a public relations nightmare by following best practices for preventing and handling an online reputation crisis before it spirals out of control.
Hugues Joublin On How To Prevent And Handle An Online Reputation Crisis
1. Monitor Your Online Presence
Having a clear view of the conversations happening around your brand online is key to preventing and addressing reputation crises, as per Hugues Joublin. It’s not enough to just be aware of what people are saying about you on social media—you must also understand how they feel. Use tools such as Google Alerts, Social Mention, and Reputology to monitor mentions of your company across all channels, including review sites and forums. This will enable you to quickly identify any negative sentiment that could potentially escalate into a full-blown crisis.
2. Have A Plan Of Action In Place
No matter how diligently you monitor your online presence, it’s likely that at some point you will have to deal with an online reputation crisis. It’s essential to have a plan in place that details exactly how the situation should be handled. This plan should include steps such as who needs to be notified, how and when communication should happen, and how any potential damage can be mitigated. Having this plan in writing allows you to react quickly and confidently in the event of a crisis.
3. Respond Appropriately
When faced with an online reputation crisis, it is important to respond quickly and appropriately. Don’t ignore complaints or allegations, as they will likely worsen without proper attention and response. Instead, address the issue head-on by providing honest answers to questions and apologizing where necessary. Be sure to stay calm and professional, even if you feel attacked.
4. Don’t Lose Sight Of Your Goals
According to Hugues Joublin, it is important to remember that the ultimate goal in any online reputation crisis is to protect the brand and its image. While it may be tempting to retaliate against those who are attacking you, this could make matters worse and damage your credibility even further. Instead, focus on understanding the situation and finding ways to improve it. Sticking with a positive outlook can help you stay focused on achieving long-term goals despite temporary setbacks caused by an online reputation crisis.
In a survey by Reputation Institute, it was found that 75% of companies experienced an online reputation crisis in the last five years. Hugues Joublin mentioned that one such example is when Electronic Arts (EA) faced a huge backlash from players over microtransactions and loot boxes featured in Star Wars: Battlefront 2. The company quickly responded to the outcry with an apology, but still lost an estimated $3 billion in market value due to the negative press coverage.
Hugues Joublin’s Concluding Thoughts
By following these tips by Hugues Joublin, you can prevent or efficiently manage a potential online reputation crisis before it has time to do real damage to your business or brand’s image. It is essential that companies pay close attention to their online presence in order to stay on top of potential issues and respond appropriately. With the right preparation, companies can protect their brand from the damaging effects of an online reputation crisis.