Protecting Reputation

Individuals and companies spend decades building their reputations, never thinking that a once excellent reputation can be shattered instantly by a decades-old video or a tweet.  Being prepared for everything is now standard practice in the corporate crisis management playbook.

That’s why clients depend on Baerlein & Partners to keep their brands known for their products and services and not by a crisis.

Among reputation experts, it’s often said the difference between a good communications firm and a great one is the ability to keep cool in a crisis and know the first five steps you need to take to protect reputation. In the age of social media channels and traditional journalism, even the most unsuspecting issue can cause a serious threat to reputation.

That’s why it is critical to have a crisis communications plan set and approved in advance. If a crisis ever does strike, minutes are critical, so having a crisis management strategy set in advance allows your senior leadership to follow the path that hopefully extinguishes the crisis. Doing nothing is not a crisis prevention strategy.

Our crisis management philosophy begins with knowing all the facts.  We tell corporate leaders that we can help them best when we know everything.  Surprises down the road usually impede even the best crisis management plan.

Before a crisis strikes, we recommend organizations fortify their online reputation with positive press mentions, complete social media channels, and multimedia photos and videos. We consider this to be a reputation reservoir, creating vital inoculation online in case a crisis strikes.

A crisis can stem from company business practices, regulatory actions, executive malfeasance, investigative journalism, customer complaints, whistleblowers, or a range of circumstances. These days, everyone has a high definition camera in their pocket ready to stream events in an instant, whether they’re inappropriate, racially tinged, violent, or otherwise combustible. Crisis communications strategies have never been as complex as today’s digital media landscape presents.

Baerlein & Partners recommended best practices for a successful crisis response strategy.

  • Issue Identification – Anticipate potential vulnerabilities and identify the topics with potential to erupt into a crisis
  • Strategy—-Develop a consensus among the company team and outside lawyers on the optimum reputational avenue to follow.
  • First Responders – Designate and train staff who will act as “point person” and spokesperson in a crisis both internally and externally.
  • Third Party Validation –Identify respected people outside the company willing to speak on behalf of the company
  • Influential Media – Identify publications, TV and radio stations, websites, bloggers, and reporters likely interested in the potential company crisis.

Baerlein & Partners has worked on over one hundred crisis matters in the last thirty years in energy, healthcare, financial services, and education. We have earned the trust of the clients we have served.