What is Reputational Risk and How do You Manage It?

In the business world, as in one’s personal life, reputation has the potential to infer valuable social currency.  A good reputation can attract consumers to a brand, while a bad one can drive them away.  As a business owner, you need to have a good strategy in place to develop a strong, positive reputation.

This starts with creating quality products or services that meet the needs of consumers, delivering superior value for the cost, behaving in a responsible and ethical manner, and generally giving the public every reason to trust and support your brand.  You also need to work closely with your Asheville social media services partner to create campaigns that raise awareness of your brand and inspire conversions.

Unfortunately, even a sterling reputation can be tarnished.  Despite your best efforts, your image may be compromised by rumor, scandal, and a variety of occurrences that cast your company in a negative light.  This is why it’s so important to understand reputational risk and take steps to protect the positive reputation you’ve worked so hard to earn.  What is reputational risk and how can you and your Asheville digital marketing partner work to manage it?

What is Reputational Risk?

In essence, reputational risk is anything that could threaten to topple the positive reputation your brand has built over time, which is why it is often linked to so-called “risk events”.  Over time, reputational risk has changed, namely with the growth of communications technologies like the internet and mobile devices that spread information (true or false) like wildfire.

A good recent example of this is the case of actor Jussie Smollett.  When he reported being attacked in a hate crime, the public outcry and press support was swift and strong, boosting his positive image.

As details of the incident unfolded, however, and it was revealed that Smollett himself had allegedly orchestrated the attack to gain public sympathy, recognition, and potentially an increased salary, the tables turned.  Whether or not Smollett is found guilty and penalized with fines or jail time, he has caused incredible, and perhaps irreparable harm to his reputation.

For businesses, there are many potential threats.  These days, businesses fear the fallout from issues like data breaches and identity theft, commonplace occurrences that can leave a major stain on a brand and alienate consumers.

However, an even greater concern could be unfounded accusations of wrongdoing.  A simple rumor of unethical or illegal behavior can cause lasting damage if it spreads, even if it is later proven untrue.  Although it may seem like such threats are impossible to manage, companies that team up with savvy social media management in Asheville can prepare for such catastrophes and contain the damage.

Acknowledging Risks and Remaining Vigilant

Managing reputational risk starts with understand the risks your business faces so that you can strategize the best ways to deal with negative events should they arise.  Your organization must understand how to meet demands for quality, value, and safety and behave ethically and responsibly at all times to maintain a positive reputation and avoid risks.

However, you and your partner in digital marketing in Asheville, NC must also take pains to monitor your reputation, head off potentially harmful events that could damage your public image, and maintain a positive view of your brand.  For example, you need to know what consumers are saying about you online.

Suppose there are negative reviews about your products, services, or brand.  You can’t just let them stand and hope they go away on their own (they won’t).  Your Asheville social media services professionals should help you to craft responses that reframe the public conversation, portraying your company as a brand that cares about the customer experience, and with luck, helping to turn negative reviews into positive ones.

Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan with Your Asheville Digital Marketing Partner

Preventing disastrous events that could damage your reputation is important, but not always possible, which is why you and your partner in social media management in Asheville need to have a plan in place for disaster recovery should the worst occur.  Suppose there’s an unfounded rumor about your company that nonetheless gains traction through social sharing or media coverage.

You need to have a plan in place to control the narrative that you can implement at a moment’s notice to stop the spread of harmful lies and spin the story to your benefit.  What if you suffer a data breach that puts confidential customer information at risk or results in identity theft?  There’s going to be fallout, but you can minimize the long-term damage when you and your partner in digital marketing in Asheville, NC have a disaster recovery plan in place.

Reputational risk is real, and it’s not always easy to manage, but when you work with the experts at Barking Dog, you have the best opportunity to grow and maintain a positive reputation and all the benefits it infers.  Contact Barking Dog today at 828-215-7329 or online to learn more.

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