Managing Your Brand Before You Need It


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From the auto industry to the oil industry, from politicians to celebrities, being inaccessible or reclusive during a crisis will almost always backfire. The Internet has changed how information is read and distributed forevermore. And if you’re not proactively managing your brand, someone else will for you.

Your brand is your most important asset. Your brand is what attracts the best job candidates, commands a premium in your stock price and helps you retain top talent. Your brand is what distinguishes you from every other company out there. Your brand is your essence.

Imagine building a solid reputation for decades and overnight it’s tarnished or in shreds. All the industry accolades and employee goodwill can’t help you now. That’s why having a reputation management plan as part of your ongoing communications is so crucial. Crisis communications, by definition, only occur during a crisis. In many instances, companies give it a vague purpose and add the job function to an already overburdened corporate communications manager.

Reputation management, or brand management, must become part of a company’s online marketing strategy because the rules of marketing and PR have changed (Amazon link).

The Associated Press (AP) news service is not the only resource for disseminating company information. The Internet has supplanted newspaper, radio and television as the go-to source for breaking news.

Pushing news out through other online news wire services is a simple and cost-effective tactic to telling your story not only to the general public, but also to journalists covering your industry, investors, analysts and employees.

Even though the newspaper business is in decline, online media consumption is higher than ever. is the #1 read online “newspaper” with 8.5 million visitors per month. Few people realize that the HuffingtonPost is a blog and aggregates “stories” from a variety of contributors.

In fact blogs, and the posting of relevant content and rich-media, have become a popular way to manage a company’s brand message. Frequent posts help you

  • Own your “search” space
  • Tell your story
  • Engage customers and employees
  • Gauge public sentiment
  • Offer quick response to breaking news

Crisis Communication Plan Like Insurance

Many public companies are ill-prepared to respond to crisis when it hits. Having a crisis communications plan in place is a lot like buying insurance – you hope you never need to use it!

One pro-active communications tactic is to create a small website designed for media relations and/or employee communications which is hidden until needed. These sites are often referred to as “dark sites.” Having a website waiting in the wings can provide a buffer if or when a crisis requires a quick response.

This is not only valuable during a business event (a product recall), but also can be invaluable before, during and after an external event, (a hurricane), that affects employees as well.

Having a branded website, ready to present relevant information in a timely manner, demonstrates that your company is on top of the issue and taking steps to respond in a transparent way.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Nicolette Beard
As a former publisher and editor, I'm passionate about the written word. I craft content to help drive the autonomous customer experience (CX) revolution. My goal is to show call center leaders how to reduce the increasing complexity of the customer journey.


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