Does Your Brand Have Any Skeletons in the Closet?
Halloween is a time for tricks and treats, but when it comes to your corporate reputation, you never want to be spooked. The fact that only 23% of communicators say that they have created frameworks or playbooks to help their brand respond to societal controversies is downright scary.
As the midterm elections approach in a few days, companies are bracing themselves for a potential wave of social and political unrest that is almost certain to arise from election outcomes. We’re already seeing voter-intimidation lawsuits being filed after a pair of armed, masked people showed up at a ballot box in Arizona. But before jumping into the fray and commenting on voting rights or election results, brands need to make sure that they can authentically stand behind any statement or action in response to a societal issue.
Before speaking out, organizations need to a take a good hard look within and ask themselves 5 critical questions, including:
- Should we speak out on a political or social issue? If so, when?
- Do we have the credibility to do so? Can we stand by our words? For example, if we want to speak out on voting rights, do we give our staff paid time off to vote? Are we making political donations to only one party?
- How best can we prepare for and craft a response?
- Are we prepared to respond to potential backlash and detractors?
- How will we measure the impact of our statements?
Tools like RepCompass, Peppercomm’s issues & crisis preparedness and response program, can reduce the fright by helping companies and their leaders prepare for critical moments when they need to ask these questions, develop a robust framework, execute a proven methodology for responding authentically and measuring the impact.
To ensure the ghosts of the past don’t come back to haunt you, take that hard look in the mirror (unless of course, you’re Dracula).