Over the years, crisis communication has been used interchangeably with reputation management. However, one should note that there is a big difference between the two, and they are not the same thing.

Crisis communication is reactive; think panic-mode. It’s how a company responds to bad news, and the main focus is on salvaging that external image. In contrast, reputation management is proactive and you have the benefit of time on your hands. Most importantly, good reputation management can prevent a crisis.

Reputation Matters conducts reputation research, quantifying an organisation’s reputation, highlighting areas of risk, and advising on solutions to prevent these concerns spiralling into a full-blown crisis.

Our reputation research has helped clients identify areas that are breaking down their reputation. If left unattended, they would certainly have caused major damage. 

With any crisis, but particularly with a health crisis, no time can be wasted in making a recall announcement. Customers will criticise any delays in announcing a food recall linked to an outbreak of any kind. Lives are quite literally at stake.

On the other hand, with reputation management you have time on your side, giving you the opportunity to strategise about what you want to communicate to stakeholders and how, using data-driven research, to inform those decisions.

Avoid a crisis while you can. I am convinced that conducting a reputation research study can be a valuable exercise in actively protecting one’s business from a crisis. The key is to take action and proactively manage your reputation before concerns spiral out of control.

After all, wouldn’t you like to be quoted in the news for the right reasons, instead of forever appearing on a Google search linked to a widely publicised crisis?

For more information, visit www.reputationmatters.co.za. You can also follow Reputation Matters on Facebook or on Twitter.  
AI can provide the PR industry with the tools to know when issues are emerging within the media. This helps PR professionals address issues surrounding their brand, which is useful during a PR crisis. Read more in our article, How AI is powering PR crisis prevention.