Crisis preparedness in business terms can be fast, but brand reputation may not be a top priority. Yet, reputation management is all for startups.
Crisis interactions with large companies and politicians are often related, but a brand crisis can also threaten the viability of a start-up before it even gets off the ground. Some well-established start-ups and early-stage ventures like OLA, Uber, Tanishq, Amazon have faced PR crises but managed to overcome the difficulties
Start-ups and small companies lack the resources of large corporations that can make internal communications and PR agencies more affordable. Yet, start-ups can still plan for the brand crisis by adopting these guidelines.
Create a PR crisis plan. In several ways, start-ups can take the same steps in planning for the brand crisis. The important step is to establish a well-documented, detailed crisis management strategy. A brand crisis plan identifies who will represent the organization and speak to the media, who will be in decision-making, and who will have the authority to make decisions.
Startups will have a data breakdown, layoffs, product failures, or other problems. These cases will show the viewpoints reporters take or the questions they ask. Check which messages positively and negatively resonated with the public to help you to develop your stance.
Examine your infrastructure. Develop a plan for corporate systems that may fail in the event of negative media attention. If your site goes down during the crisis, your company is in jeopardy. Customers will not have access to the resources they paid for, and you could have a problem in the middle of a crisis.
Prepare content. Prepare to keep statements that a start-up can release with a few changes immediately. Such comments confirm the policies of the organization on this issue, apologize if necessary, and promise an immediate investigation.
Monitor both traditional and social media. Before, during, and after a crisis, media monitoring provides critical information. Monitoring analysis can alert start-ups, businesses to a potential crisis by disclosing a spike in negative mentions.
Watch your brand names for comments on news and social media. Control the monitoring of social media, which platforms they track, what they listen to, how often they review the results, and to whom they report their findings.
Treat employees well. Companies that are well known for treating employees fare better during a crisis. They are likely to criticize organizations on social media and boycott their products when consumers believe that businesses mistreat employees.
Act quickly. Issue a press release or public statement ASAP when a brand crisis strikes. Be transparent and reveal accurate and complete data. Most of the first 48 hours are important. Determine what went wrong and if an apology is warranted
Define the problem. Not every negative news or social media comment calls for a comprehensive response to the PR crisis. Sometimes, following negative outbursts on social media, a business should hold its ground. Some news only needs you to recognize the issue and state that you want it to solve.
Bottom Line: Start-ups can also experience a brand crisis, like big corporations. A crisis can be especially crippling for a start-up that is starting to make a name for itself. While start-ups lack the capital of large companies, they can still set up a strategy to help them survive the crisis.
Any response to the crisis should concentrate on the consumer, placing the business and its assets in second place. A deep concern for customers is what will help to solve your crisis.