Reputational Risks and Communication Planning have never been topics so talked about, but, at the same time, neglected. You might be wondering why this is. One is that, for some companies, planning is still seen as a waste of time.
In this way, it is exactly when the strategic role of planning leaves the scene that a character who was on the lookout arrives, just waiting for his turn to take the stage: the crisis.
How to deal with risks?
Yes, it can occur with any company, regardless of size, or segment. But, no crisis is born out of nowhere, except in the case of natural disasters and other very specific types of negative events. They are generated by risks overlooked by brands and companies alike.
Network reputational risks
According to a report by a reputation agency in Paris, in January 2021, more than ever, after the pandemic, consumers want actions and content that strive for clarity, consistency and coherence in actions.
Far beyond structuring funnels, companies need to have a complete view of communication processes to prevent risks from turning into crises.
In this sense, the risks pointed out by the report with regard to the production of content by brands on digital channels and social networks are:
– Use of offensive, disrespectful language that does not address the diversity of audiences;
– Misappropriation of ’causes’ for self-promotion and gaining more visibility and reach;
– Non-inclusion, in its planning, of the variety of audiences that are now acting more strongly in the networks (a process driven by the Covid-19 pandemic) such as, for example, the mature audience.
These ‘new enthusiasts’ of technology, online shopping, banking and social media users cannot be forgotten, as they want to legitimately and inclusively give their opinion and position themselves in the discussions they deem relevant.
Don’t slip on prevention
In this sense, especially with regard to communication planning for digital media and social networks, Hootsuite recommends:
- Creation of a policy and a process for mapping risks and preventing crises on social networks;
- Setting up a communication workflow (management and management) for social networks, especially considering the virtualization of content, rumors, fake news, and the famous ‘cancellations’;
- Shift from a ‘social listening’ posture to data-driven and marketing based on opportunity and permission, not opportunism.
- Use social listening as an intelligence tool, helping organizations make smarter decisions based on customer needs and pain points.
When there is no hard data, silence is golden
Faced with the dramatic increase in the use of social networks and the huge number of new opportunities for brands this year, many of them acted prematurely, taking a ride on causes they do not embrace and positioning themselves on issues on which they have no action or ownership.
“Smart brands waited, listened and then won with creative and original ways to insert themselves in conversations on social networks, breaking the barrier of indifference”, points out the Hootsuite report.
Monitor to prevent
Monitoring is essential these days. With the proximity between consumers and brands on social networks, you must always be aware of posts. Minor reviews and negative comments can quickly go viral to other channels, affecting your company’s reputation.
But, even before hiring a monitoring tool, it is necessary to carry out a series of activities, as monitoring is not enough without this being aligned with a risk mapping policy and a preventive culture.
The first step before hiring a tool is to build a risk map of your company, that is, a list of vulnerabilities that can generate negative events for the brand, considering the impact and probability of occurrence.
Once we have the risk map and structured data from the macro and microenvironment analysis in hand, it’s time to see which are the most recurrent keywords in this list, and then extract what needs to be, in fact, monitored, in order for a negative comment to not go viral.
Reputation Risk Map
Having in hand the risk map and the list of most critical words, the ideal is to build a crisis management protocol, in which questions and answers are provided for possible doubts and comments that are posted mentioning the brand.
These guidelines should not be created to be left in the drawer, so share them with the entire team, from social media to the press officer.
Is your company prepared to act in a planned way on social networks? Have you mapped the risks? You can clean up your reputation on the internet by availing the help of professional service.
This content is brought to you by Shahbaz Ahmed.