Data breaches. Privacy concerns. Delays in public response to customer complaints.
These are just a few of the many ways companies are continually losing the trust of their customers and diminishing the value of their brands.
With 24/7 news cycles, increased investigative reporting on local, regional and national levels, and the prominence and use of social media and other online platforms to make concerns public quickly, now more than ever, companies need to have communications strategies in place for any and all potential scenarios.
- Be prepared. Regardless of size or industry, every company should have some sort of crisis communications strategy ready and available. This includes chain of command for all communications internally and externally, a set of tough FAQs (with another prepared on the spot for that specific scenario), who needs to be involved in particular matters (legal, etc), and a general timeline for executing said strategy.
- Be timely. Once an issue is identified, it is important to be timely with your investigation and response both internally and externally. A delayed response helps no one.
- Be authentic. Make sure your responses are reflective of the company voice. You will most likely get guidance on language from legal but be mindful that any statements honor what the company stands for and sounds like in all other communications.
- Be honest. If nothing else, be truthful about what has happened/is happening. The truth always comes out so it is best that it come from you!
Trust is paramount to the success of any business as without your customers and partners, it is difficult to grow or even survive. Make sure you have the key pieces in place to keep trust a top priority.