Top tips for mitigating the reputational risk of your company
Risks to your business’ reputation are a constant threat from both external and internal factors – but with the right plan, enterprise risks can be managed and the negative effects mitigated. Here are some of our top tips for how to save your brand from an avoidable crisis.
How to mitigate reputational risk of your company?
Follow these advices:
Practice what you preach
A company’s actions define reputation, so make sure yours are beyond reproach. Have the core values that you espouse rooted in your business model at an enterprise level; if those values are ill-defined, model them and make them operational – while ensuring that senior management is on board.
Have an engagement plan
To manage reputation risk at speed, you need to be prepared, so have a rational contingency plan in place. To do this, you need to know your stakeholders, what’s important to them, and the issues most likely to make them view your company negatively.
Don’t underestimate the risks
Take a serious approach to manage reputation risk: WEF’s Global Risks Report 2019 ranked ‘massive data fraud and theft’ as the number four global risk by likelihood over a 10-year horizon, with ‘cyber-attacks’ at number five – and the fallout of either can cause untold damage to a company’s reputation
Adept handling of the aftermath can go a long way to mitigating reputation any damage which occurred in real time as events unfolded. According to a report by AON, in the age of social media and a 24/7 news cycle, organisations have a five-day window to restore the effects of reputational damage. As a result, crisis communication must be instant, and global, reaching all stakeholders.
Not communicating effectively, or worse still, allowing external parties to uncover the issue, results in more frequent and more damaging reporting of an issue prolonging the impact of the attack. Carphone Warehouse, British Airways, Siemens and TalkTalk, have all been called out for failing to promptly inform affected stakeholders of an attack and have all experienced above average decreases in their reputations as a direct consequence.
Keep data locked down
Giving up confidential client information through a data breach is a sure way to harm your corporate reputation – whether you are culpable or not. In 2018, Cifas, the UK’s largest cross-sector fraud sharing organisation, saw the highest number of identity frauds ever recorded. Beef up your cyber security, keep security measures up to date, have a protocol for addressing attacks, and educate employees on how to combat them.
Keep employees happy
While monitoring external risks, don’t overlook those coming from within. A disgruntled workforce, who are vocal in their dissatisfaction, can be a major source of negative publicity. Being branded a bad employer will tarnish your reputation. Keep on top of HR, treat everyone fairly, monitor employee satisfaction, and debrief outgoing staff to find out what could be done better.
Employ an active monitoring service
Knowing where reputational threats are coming from is vital in making a risk assessment for your business. Forewarned is forearmed, and makes the difference between desperate crisis management and controlled risk management. Effective business intelligence analysis provides insight-driven foresight, enabling you to spot any warning flags
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