Create or assess your crisis management plan.
2018 was a year where many Zimbabwean brands suddenly found themselves in the spotlight. A crisis management plan is an integral part of your brand’s strategy and success, because you cannot always predict when a crisis will strike. When a brand finds itself in the middle of a crisis, that is not the ideal time to try and create a strategy. Nor is it the best time to try to gain buy-in from senior management. Instead, have a thorough crisis management that is always on the back burner. In your strategy, include which people to involve in addressing the crisis. It must also identify which personnel are authorized to make statements, to which media and so on. If your brand has gone through the whole of 2018 without a crisis management plan in place, now is the time to rectify that. The current market is unpredictable, and 2019 promises to bring many more surprises with it. Always be prepared.
Perform a social media audit.
Always carry out your brand’s presence and activities on social media according to a specified digital strategy. A social media audit allows you to assess what’s working. Key information to asses includes your metrics on each platform, your audience demographics as well as where your traffic is coming from. Make sure your platforms are all accounted for, and old pages deleted. Identify your highest performing posts and take note of the patterns in order to assess your content strategy. Be sure to check your branding as well- your brand should be immediately recognizable across all platforms. Don’t forget to assess the style and tone of all your pages, and to look at how you have been approaching social listening and customer service on online platforms. These are important factors that impact your brand’s reputation on digital media.
Lay the HR groundwork so that everything else can happen.
We recently shared 3 HR Challenges to Reputation Management Success (link). The truth is that many brands have good intentions but do not even have the right infrastructure in place to implement reputation management strategies. Make sure the right processes, skills and people are in place. Without these, reputation management and PR activities will not be able to take place in the most fruitful way. Empower your communications team in order for your brand’s reputation to grow, and build positive sentiment among stakeholders.
Stephanie Taderera is a Content Executive at Magna Carta Reputation Management Consultants. For more information and business enquiries, contact us today.