How important is your reputation?
Reputation is everything in the care sector. You need to look after it, foster it, and be quick to repond if anyone decides to challenge it.
From bitter ex-employees, to a covid outbreak, or a service complaint, how you handle the situation is usually a direct result of how positive or negative your business will be seen.
The worse thing is to ignore such things. You may have that ex-employee leaving ‘fake’ negative Google Business reviews on your profile, your home might briefly be closed due to a Covid outbreak, or a family member has complained about how long they were stood outside before you let them in, it happens. The best plan of response is to have a plan of response.
Put an incident plan in place that anticipates any potential reputation disasters. Think about your PR risks; employee mis-conduct, bad service, covid outbreak, staff termination, medical emergency etc.
Choose your response team. Identify those people within your organisation who are able to make decisions, are informed and contactable, even out of office hours, and calm in the face of a crisis.
Your reputation may depend on it.
Create your statements of response. You’ll never be able to anticipate how a potential PR disaster might unravel but you can develop holding statements ready to share with the media, customers and staff that indicate you are in control of the situation and go some way towards retaining your reputation.
The best advice I can give is to plan ahead for this very day, as a business you have a responsibility to the people that have trust in you. It could be the media, your employees, your shareholders, or customers, people will be looking to you for reassurance, don’t let them, or yourself down, by providing being accountable.
If you find yourself in a reactive position without a plan, don’t panic, don’t say no comment, and don’t ignore the issue. Deal with it sincerely and get on top of the situation quickly.
Have you had your reputation challenged; how did you handle it? Do leave me a comment if this has helped you in preparing for any incident that could affect your reputation.