Reputation bashing? Some tips to take it in your stride

Building a reputation is tough, and maintaining a good one is tougher. Recently, we have seen a Page 3 socially active celeb, getting hit and trolled … all because of a comment made on the contingent that was Rio-bound to take part in the Olympics.

Any brand, corporate or otherwise, has to work hard to build a reputation of integrity and trust. Do understand that people do business with someone they know, like and trust; make it your goal to do business in this way; keep all brand promises and deliver!

If things happened so smoothly, life would be beautiful. But, take a reality check. That’s not what happens today. There are attacks on your business and reputation; it could spring from envy or any other emotion that may egg someone to damage your business and attack your reputation.

You may think keeping quiet is the best answer and let your reputation speak for itself and etch out its own course. But, that is not enough.  Left unchecked, your customers could start believing what’s not true!

Here are five ways one can handle an attack on your reputation, which you have carefully built and nurtured:

  • Don’t get down to street level

When your reputation gets hit, it’s natural to want to fire right back at your attackers; but it doesn’t solve anything. If you get angry, you may come off looking far from being  professional. Don’t keep absolute silence, but at the sometime, don’t let your emotions react for you. Turn a blind eye to what they are saying and you concentrate on the work involved. Let your brand character and commitment to helping customers do the talking for you. Actions speak louder than words.

  • Assure your loyal customers that it’s business as usual

When such an incident happens, customers fear a situation like this may lead to less productivity or, even worse, that your business may be shutting down. But, get out into the open, and let your customers know that you mean business; and that you are ready to face any problem. Convince them that they will still get the same or an even a higher level of service from you. Difficult situations are the testing ground and, if you are committed, it will be clear to your customers, who will not leave you.

  • Defeat what is being said by offering extra value

Remember, customers will follow you, especially because of the value you offer. The more value you offer, the more you can manage to keep the focus on you, and away from those who are attacking you! And, during a time when you are being challenged, provide a higher value. Focus on putting out content, products, and services that solve people’s biggest problems. At the crux of it, customers want to know what’s in it for them. They will take good, sincere explanation, any day!

  • Reach out for support

Often, you may want to do the disappearing act. But that’s not a smart move. Reaching out for support may be the best option. Getting another perspective from people whom you trust, can help you get clarity and then, you can strategise in a safe environment.  One piece of advice: don’t let the anger build up, reach out for support. Talk to those who have your best interest at heart. And, that will turn the situation around.

  • Stay focused

The reason why you built your corporate brand or product should always be the prime incentive that keeps you moving ahead, overcoming any setbacks that arise. Do what it takes to keep your business running and keep your customers assured while staying focused on your ‘why’. Let that be the motivation to keep you going.

An attack on your reputation feels like you have been hit by a bomb! Don’t bend under the pressure, but take the initial hit and plan your next steps carefully. Stay focused and continue to do the things that have made you successful. Don’t let the mindless crosstalk of some people, get the better of you. Don’t let them keep you from what you want to accomplish for your brand’s reputation and the business, at large.

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Shree Lahiri
Shree is the Senior Editor at Reputation Today and hopes to move from one focus area to another in the editions that will be released this year. Having worked in Corporate Communications teams, she has experience of advertising, public relations, investor and employee communications, after which she moved to the other side – journalism. She enjoys writing and believes the power of the pen is indeed mighty. Covering the entertainment beat and the media business, she has been involved in a wide range of activities that have thrown open storytelling opportunities.

She can be reached at: @shree_la on twitter

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