Many businesses – and individuals - take their good reputation for granted and only become really conscious of its value when it is threatened. A time of crisis, however, is not the ideal time to start managing reputation. At such a time, damage limitation may be the best you can hope to achieve.
Protecting reputation during a crisis – and restoring it when the crisis has passed – are more easily achieved if you had built up ‘credits’ to begin with. People may be more inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt if they already have a sense of who you are, what you have done, and how you have contributed.
Proactive reputation management is about identifying your key audiences, the messages these audiences should hear, and then ensuring that these messages are transmitted effectively. Audiences being taken into account should include customers, potential customers, shareholders, staff, suppliers, regulators, auditors, bank mangers, State agencies, industry influencers – and the media.