Taking fire – how to protect your staff and your reputation

19 July 2021  |  Insights
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“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffett

A poor response in a crisis is one of the easiest ways for an organisation to ruin the reputation it has worked hard to develop. That’s why planning for crisis, and thinking carefully about how to respond to any issues that you know have the potential to damage your reputation is so vitally important.

A core part of that is making sure you know who should speak about an issue – and who should not.

Your frontline staff, from receptionists to shop workers, represent your brand in public and are much more accessible than your senior management team. They can easily become the first port of call for someone wanting to ask difficult questions; but it’s neither wise, nor fair, to expect them to have the right answers.

We advise our clients to think about who journalists, or irate members of the public, might contact and to clearly let them know how they should respond. By arming them with the information they need, you can protect them – and your reputation – from inadvertently saying something that doesn’t represent what your organisation believes, or its values.

Here are some of the key points to tell them:

It’s wise to provide a script and contact details for your staff so that they know who to access; training videos are another helpful way to illustrate the kinds of questions they might receive and how they can best respond. We can help you develop these, so get in touch if you’d like to know more.

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