Crisis Management Strategies for 2019
What are the best crisis management strategies this year?
Have you ever wondered how brands hide scandals and negative press online? What do business owners do if they obtain a dreaded negative Yelp review? What happens if you as an individual get arrested and find your criminal records online?
The answer is simple, crisis management.
In this article, we will walk you through how to effectively handle a crisis whether it is for an individual or a brand. Working online is a double-edged sword, it is important that you know your options.
We will help to create a pre-crisis plan through traditional media and modern PR methods to ensure your brand (or yourself) has a positive web presence.
The bottom line is you must constantly monitor and remain proactive online when it comes to establishing or restoring your reputation. About 90% of internet users turn to Google and related review platforms more than listening to a friend and family member’s recommendation.
Please take a few minutes to watch this short video below to get a better sense of how we operate here at GuaranteedRemoval.com. We have been a leader in online reputation management for over a decade with hundreds of reviews and a handful of awards to back us up.
If you or someone you know is currently struggling with negative information online please fill out the form below and one of our knowledgable reputation specialists will reach out to you within 24-hours with assistance.
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What is Crisis Management?
In short, crisis management is how you as a brand or as an individual cope and combat negative mentions of your name online.
Here at GuaranteedRemoval.com we generally see our clients suffer from unfavorable content every 2 to 3 years.
A crisis not only disrupts the internal morale of your brand but you can potentially lose large percentages of revenue from scaring potential customers or clients away with a single negative review.
In order to effectively work to restore and maintain a reputation online you must be effective in the following categories:
- Public Relations (or PR)
- Reputation Marketing
- Social Media Management
As the internet progresses and users become more aware of the resources they have on hand the tried and true, or traditional marketing methods may not always work.
Sure, if you are being slandered or defamed by a small business with little to no authority online you may be able to issue a PR blast about something positive happening with your company as that may suffice.
However with larger sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) you need to have additional tricks up your sleeve when traditional methods do not work.
When working to establish a crisis management strategy think like Stephen Covey and “keep the end goals in mind”. These are not short term changes, your crisis management plan is an ongoing, well-oiled machine ready to combat any negativity online that you may encounter.
Without well-managed crisis management strategies, you may lose stakeholders, customers may view your brand (or yourself) as inadequate and lastly, without a crisis management plan the time it takes you to bounce back into the limelight is greatly delayed.
What Are Some Crisis Management Techniques?
So what are the best methods to prevent negative content from appearing online? Here are the top 3 ways our crisis management team works to assist our clients.
- Press Release Coverage
- Social Media Management
- Custom Domain/Website Creation
You do not have to be extremely tech-savvy to control your online presence. The most important aspect is knowing when to act.
There are 3 major elements you want to cover when creating your crisis management strategy.
It is important to keep in mind that users will search until the end of the earth when researching a company with little to no online presence or in this case, a negative reputation.
To ensure your image results are positive one of the best methods to implement is launching a press release campaign and include as many photos as you can. Since you have published new content through highly authoritative websites the odds are greatly in your favor for those new images to rank on the first page of Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Routinely monitor your online images on all popular search engines. You can also sign up for Google Alerts, this way you will receive an email notification anytime something referencing your brand is published online. This enables you to act fast and deploy your brand crisis management strategy as soon as possible.
The internet as we previously discussed is changing the way consumers interact with brands and businesses. Within seconds individuals are able to pull up your feedback from previous customers or clients.
90% of consumers reportedly read online reviews before visiting a business. This means if a negative review appears in your most recent reviews you are losing tons of revenue.
If you are a new business lacking reviews, that is okay. A reported 74% of online consumers will trust a business after reading one positive review.
The emergence of social media networks in the 21st century is at times unfathomable. Starting with sites such as Myspace, consumers now have dozens of highly authoritative platforms to grow their brands and increase their audience.
You must proceed with caution when working and promoting your brand (or yourself) on social media. People can be extremely critical and relentless. To ensure that the information you post and publish is not only factual but culturally unbiased. This means stay away from discussing politics and religion.
When working to better your online presence through social media efforts it is vital that you remain consistent when publishing your content online. When a crisis hits your brand, turning to social media as a tool if a powerful asset to have for your business.
The general rule when working on sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is to not only stay consistent but to publish 3-4 pieces of content on a daily basis.
How Can Public Relations Be Used to Manage a Crisis?
Reaching out to local news media outlets can be a quick and efficient way to get newsworthy content on the first page on all the major search engines.
Seeing as websites such as DigitalJournal, BostonGlobe, and YahooFinance (just to name a few) hold extremely high authority in the eyes of Google. Articles published on these media outlets tend to rank highly and very quick.
Again, it is important to include as many pictures as you can within each publication to increase your efforts of building a solid foundation under the images tab within each search engine. 2-3 pictures should suffice however most PR companies have a limit for how many you can add.
A general rule of thumb is to create 1-2 monthly press releases. This way if something negative should appear online it will have to outweigh the content you have previously published. While it is still possible, it is unlike to show on the first page of Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
What to Do If You Are Currently Undergoing a Brand Crisis
If you are currently undergoing a brand crisis it is important that you never freak out. Remaining calm and acting fast should be your utmost priority.
When you undergo a crisis there are two facets that you must consider. First your internal structure. If you own a large brand the word around the office may cripple your team’s performance so remaining transparent and open about the situation will work wonders.
Make sure that your team is doing everything in its power to combat the negativity. This can be accomplished by them sharing any new press releases to social media in efforts to again flood out any negative mentions of your brand.
Depending on the current status of your brand and the popularity levels you may have to worry about external threats that arise during these unfortunate times. This can be as simple as consumers sharing and commenting on the negative articles about you.
As bad as the article maybe you can always voice your opinion and comment within the story itself. Although we advise you to do this as a last-ditch effort. Taking responsibility and the blame works surprisingly well depending on the situation at hand.
For the following month, your marketing department or branding manager should be kicking all of your promotional ideas into gear. Sometimes you can turn a negative into a positive by repositioning yourself in your specific niche or industry.
Take Johnson & Johnson, for example, decades ago during the Tylenol crisis where traces of cyanide were from in their product that launched a full-scale PR blitz and here we are decades later with nothing negative online about Johnson & Johnson.
Examples of Crisis Management
At the end of the day, anything that causes harm or a loss of business towards your brand can be considered a crisis. For example, negative reviews, unfavorable photographs, bad press articles, poor social media mentions, and much more.
Your job is the establish a way to flood out all the negative connotations tied to your name to ensure no business is lost along the way.
There are many elements such as natural disasters that are out of your control however most crises that emerge can be avoided by implementing a few simple techniques that will not only save you time but also money down the road.
One of the worse crises that can potentially close down a business is negative online reviews. Over the past several years we have worked with thousands of small business owners that claim Yelp reviews have a tremendous impact on the overall success of their business. Apart from pay-to-play allegations many owners have against Yelp, there are ways to obtain prospects even as you struggle to combat a negative review.
Here are some of the most popular negative mentions that we see at our agencies each and every day:
Stay Proactive & Create a Pre-Crisis Plan
The best time to implement a crisis management plan is now. Do not wait until a crisis emerges before you decide to take action because you will be late to the party.
Our crisis management team works on your behalf to quickly and readily publish new, high-engaging content in efforts to “flood out” the negative search results. This method is accomplished via press release campaigns, custom website creations, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media management.
It is imperative that each employee and stakeholder is well versed in the art of combatting negativity on the internet. In a crisis situation, you have only minutes before the situation begins to snowball.
Ensure you have adequate means for media coverage at your disposal and ready to deploy when the time arrives. Risk management is a sensitive subject, however, when implemented properly you limit the number of negative impacts onto your brand (or yourself).
Whether you believe you need an in-house crisis manager or not it is never a bad idea. If your budget does not allow for it, take the time and train an existing employee to assist you with your crisis management efforts.
Ensuring you have a proactive crisis management plan intact, you will be ready to fight off any and all unwanted content related to your brand.
Your crisis management strategies should include how your company can bounce back from the negativity while still getting your mission or key messages out to your audience.
Final Thoughts on Crisis Management Strategies
When all is said and done you must remember to stay in front of the negativity. That starts today. So after you finish reading this article head over to your Google Docs and start devising a brand crisis management strategy.
It is not a matter or if you will need one, it is a matter of when and how soon. Still at a loss for what to do or how to get started please fill out the form. We will reach out to you with a detailed crisis management strategies for your brand.
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