We all know a reputation matters, but it really matters during times of crisis. Whatever the accusation or challenge, the public will always give more grace to a respected organization. A RepTrak study in 2020 revealed that 64% of the general public give some benefit of the doubt to companies they say have an ‘excellent’ reputation, versus 7% for those with a ‘poor’ reputation.
Matt Buchanan, head of PR and influence at Ogilvy UK advises about three behaviors on an ongoing basis that should be at the forefront of every leader’s mind:
Firstly, vulnerability: acknowledging mistakes, embracing openness and a willingness to be held accountable.
Secondly, mutuality: show you have common beliefs and shared values with your audiences. This is where a brand’s purpose is key.
Thirdly: familiarity: Seek more personal connections and use trusted voices to help.
Trying to build or fix your reputation during a crisis is too late. Olympic ice skaters don’t wait until winter to start practicing. Perhaps most important – the crisis you have to worry about the most is the one you don’t see coming.
Build your reputation now – at every opportunity. When a real crisis hits, it may be the best roadmap out.