Magna Carta Zimbabwe recently hosted an insightful Crisis and Reputation Management workshop. The session helped communicators from various corporates to understand how to tackle a crisis and defend a brand’s reputation. Attendees gained a well rounded perspective on crisis and reputation management. They also received an overview of Zimbabwe’s Media landscape. Vincent Magwenya, Founder and CEO of Conversations Media South Africa, conducted an invaluable presentation and crisis management simulation. Importantly, the session also highlighted 3 internal organisation structure issues to manage in order for crisis and reputation management efforts to be successful:
Have a Seat at the Table
Your internal organisation structure should empower your communications team in managing your reputation. Put simply, a crisis and reputation management plan cannot be successful if those who are supposed to implement it do not sit at senior level, implementing decisions that impact a brand’s reputation. It is not enough to inform communicators of what’s happening after the fact. Help reputation management to be proactive by ensuring those personnel exist at senior level to provide guidance. This will also help your brand to avoid a mindset of always mopping up crises after they already occur.
Don’t Trivialise Functions
Many brands have a mindset that social media is a trivial tool for employees who are low on the food chain. This patronizing of the function means that in this fast-paced digital market, when a social media crisis strikes, the first instinct is to “blame the intern”. Your brand’s social media presence interfaces with stakeholders, and is therefore a critical communication channel. As senior management, if you would oversee a presentation to shareholders, you should also oversee your social media presence and content personally. Your internal organisation structure should not only celebrate functions such as social media management, but should take them seriously as part of your organisation’s greater strategy.
Nurture Key Competencies
Your operating environment informs which key competencies are a priority. Ensure that you internal organisation structure is allowing for these competencies to be identified and nurtured. Then, fill in any gaps through your human resources structure. As part of crisis and reputation management, your organisation needs strategic thinkers who can monitor and analyse issues and bring them back to the brand. Communications people must also be versatile when it comes to executing in various channels- from traditional to new media. Your internal organisation structure impacts the output here. Make sure your brand has the right people to keep up.
Stephanie Taderera is a Content Executive at Magna Carta Reputation Management Consultants. For more information and business enquiries, contact us today.