Whether or not you had the chance to attend our most recent Business Reputation Panel in person, every leader can benefit from our expert panelists’ top tips to preserve and protect your company’s reputation.
James “Jef” Fagan, Principal Attorney at Offit Kurman advises businesses to not only pick a primary spokesperson – but to make certain your employees know who that spokesperson is. Legally, employees need to understand if the media calls, they should not answer any questions. If a crisis occurs, employees should be given a script for answering the phone, and direct callers to the primary spokesperson.
Scott Canuel, Executive Director and Market Team Lead at J.P. Morgan explains employees must know what to expect in terms of protocol BEFORE a crisis occurs. Employees should be updated on your company’s crisis plan on a regular basis, and training must be consistent. (Fallston Group tip: this establishes organizational muscle memory and reduces stress when a crisis does occur!).
Rachael Lighty, Public Relations Manager for Amazon Operations stresses that “your reputation is not a shot in time.” Your reputation must be worked on alongside your relationships with your customers and trusted advisors every single day. Think about your reputation during your everyday business decisions – it is an active ongoing process.
Kai Jackson, Co-anchor at WBFF-TV Fox45 News tells us from the media’s perspective, “please know I have a job to do just like you do.” When a crisis occurs, it is extremely helpful for your company to have a point person to go to for information who can speak MEANINGFULLY about the issue. The media’s job is to report professionally and respectfully. The more substance your business can provide, the better the media will be able to represent your story.
Ed Norris, radio personality and actor gives personal advice from the heart: build your relationships TODAY. And not just with your company and board’s executives, but with all of your employees. Every person matters. These relationships will benefit you in the long-term, and those people will have your back not if, but when things go sideways.
Rob Weinhold, chief executive at Fallston Group, urges leaders to understand reputation leads to trust, and trust leads to valuation. And, not all currency is financial. Your reputational equity must be built BEFORE crisis strikes; your business must always be ready to make a withdrawal from your reputational piggy bank.
For more information about crisis leadership strategies, how to understand your risk and how to better prepare for a crisis, contact Fallston Group at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 410.420.2001 or visit our website.