Picking Up the Pieces After a Significant Brand Scandal

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John Lennon saying the Beatles were bigger than Jesus

Bill Clinton proved to have perjured himself. PerDiePie saying the N word on a live stream. Scandals threatening the life of brands, businesses, and personalities is nothing new. But just because we’ve seen these situations play out in the past, this doesn’t mean that a scandal is easy to recover from.

Cultural values are evolving faster than ever before. What was acceptable a few years or even months ago might be swept away by a shift in the public conscience. You might run afoul of a significant group of the media or you fan/user/customer base with no ill intention of your own. But if this happens, your brand is still on the line. If and when this happens to you, it’s important to use techniques that will change matters, rather than flailing as many scandal-ridden public figures and brands do.

Hire the Best for Behind the Scenes. As you likely know, it’s now possible to alter the record on the internet, or at least insert material that benefits rather than detracts from you and your brand. This is especially important in a time of crisis. Profile Defenders reputation management services is an example of a resource organized to enhance your reputation during the good times and keep it from hitting rock bottom during the bad. People are very responsive to sentiment and argument that they come across online. This could be in the form of focused advertisement, or achieved through the subtlety of simple forum posts and comments. In you have trouble in this area, you definitely want people “putting in a good word” for you while you wait to recover.

Be Candid From the Start. One of the worst ways to deal with a crisis is by using flimsy lies to try to avert the coming storm. Lies sometimes work, but with the increasing sophistication of people everywhere, it’s better to avoid misspeaking and instead wait for a time to give a clear, honest statement. Such a statement should, of course, avoid incriminating information, but what it does communication should be straightforward. If people find you forthcoming, they’ll be more likely to re-extend trust.

Move On Like Nothing Happened. If at all possible, continue doing and expanding business as if nothing ever happened. Don’t ignore the problem, but don’t let it grind your business to a halt. In all but the worst cases, interest will fade and you will be accepted back into the landscape your business inhabits. “Keep calm and carry on” shows proof of integrity and purpose, especially important when those values are questioned. Practice good business in good times and bad and you will have a backlog of good behavior to help buoy you in the times when you are under fire.

Reputation damage and public scandal are nothing to the world of businesses and career people. You can’t prevent scandal but you can help your cause with the right preparation prior to (and the correct action action post) crisis.