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By Rebecca Manley, Consultant

No matter how well you’re prepared for every possible eventuality, sometimes there can be no stopping a communications crisis from arising.

Long gone are the days where the speed of news travelling the world was measured in years. Now, with the ever expanding presence of internet and social media, news of a company’s failing can spread like wildfire, destroying a reputation in an instant.

Today all it takes is a disgruntled employee or unsatisfied customer to bring your company to its knees.

Negative news doesn’t just affect your likelihood of new customers, but also your existing presumed faithful clientele and even staff morale can take a hit. Rightly or wrongly, many clients won’t hesitate to cut their ties to your blemished organisation to protect their own reputation.

Through careful preparation, media training and tactical planning, you can be well-equipped if a crisis does happen to arise so you can cruise into damage control-mode like a storm-trooper.

But the overarching factor on the likelihood of your success depends largely on your business’ reputation to begin with.

You can’t fatten a pig on Market Day. You need to have a reputation to protect.

An SAS Group client with more than 25 years’ proven experience in their industry, recently found themselves at the centre of a crisis which could have easily resulted in the company’s demise.

Despite their name being picked up by every major news organisation in the country, a combination of quick and careful message planning coupled with the company’s already strong reputation, meant that not only were the majority of their stakeholders not put-off by the news, they were overwhelmingly supportive.

The client received hundreds of compassionate phone calls and emails in the days following the incident -- even the media were sympathetic -- and in turn, that company has bounced back to its former glory.

More often than not, you can’t predict exactly when and how a crisis will arise. Whether or not your little piggy fetches a high price at market will likely be a reflection of its existing reputation and public perception of how well the company can be trusted.

Your businesses reputation is its most important asset. It’s what gets people walking through the doors and what keeps them there.

To build your reputation and prepare your brand to face any crisis, contact The SAS Group.

The SAS Group is your trusted partner for government, media and corporate engagement.

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