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Reputation management doesn’t stop when the crisis is over 05/01/2011

Posted by Corneel Maes in Uncategorized.
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Real time reputation management has substantially increased corporate risk awareness and crisis preparedness, however it can never be an insurance premium against Murphy’s Law. Accidents will happen, as they say. Unfortunately. A lot has been said and written about crisis communications, but there is an element to good crisis management that is often overlooked. And yet, it is as important as managing the crisis in the first place: what about post-crisis evaluation & learnings?

I’m a big fan of not immediately dropping the pen and sitting back as soon as the crisis situation is under control. Post-crisis evaluation is becoming even more important as we manage reputations on-line and in real time. Two intertwined aspects are important to assess, with the crisis management experience still fresh in the heads.

First of all internal processes: How did the crisis management team interact? Was initial fact finding effective and quick enough? Were initial data reliable? Did internal procedures work? Was the crisis room equipment fit for the job? What about stress resistance within the crisis team? Does the crisis communications plan need an overhaul? I could go on with more questions in the checklist.Learning from mistakes AND from things that went well will strengthen the team and the processes for a next (hopefully never occurring) event.

And then there is the outside world. How did the media do? Did our messages resonate with audiences on-line and off-line? Did we come across valuable advocates on twitter and facebook? How can we do damage repair with influential bloggers who have been voicing criticism for the past 2 weeks or 2 months? Doing that exercise – combined with on-line measuring – enhances crisis preparedness yet another nudge.