Crisis Management in ORM: An Overview

Businesses are facing an unprecedented number of challenges when it comes to managing their online reputation. One negative review or comment can quickly escalate into a full-blown crisis, damaging a company's brand and bottom line. That's where crisis management in online reputation management (ORM) comes in. ORM is all about proactively monitoring and managing a company's online presence to ensure that it accurately reflects the company's values and reputation. In this article, we'll take a closer look at crisis management in ORM, exploring what it is, why it's important, and how it can be implemented effectively. Whether you're a small business owner or a marketing professional, understanding the basics of crisis management in ORM is essential for protecting your brand and maintaining your online reputation.

What is crisis management in ORM?

Crisis management is the process of handling a sudden and unexpected event that threatens to harm a company's reputation. In the context of ORM, crisis management involves monitoring online conversations, identifying potential issues, and responding to them in a timely and appropriate manner. The goal of crisis management in ORM is to minimize the impact of negative publicity and protect a company's brand and reputation.

Crisis management in ORM involves a range of activities, including monitoring social media channels, responding to negative reviews and comments, and engaging with customers to address their concerns. It also involves being proactive in identifying potential issues and taking steps to prevent them from becoming full-blown crises.

The importance of crisis management in ORM

The importance of crisis management in ORM cannot be overstated. With the rise of social media and online review sites, it has become easier than ever for customers to share their experiences with a company. While positive reviews and comments can help build a company's reputation, negative comments can quickly spiral out of control and cause significant damage.

In today's digital age, a single negative review or comment can quickly spread across the internet, potentially reaching millions of people. This can have a significant impact on a company's reputation, leading to loss of customers, revenue, and even legal action. Effective crisis management in ORM can help minimize the impact of negative publicity, protect a company's reputation, and ensure that customers continue to trust and support the company.

Common online reputation crises

There are several common types of online reputation crises that companies may face. These include:

Negative reviews and comments

Negative reviews and comments are one of the most common types of online reputation crises. They can be posted on social media, review sites, or other online platforms. Negative comments can be damaging because they are visible to potential customers and can influence their purchasing decisions.

Social media backlash

Social media backlash can occur when a company's actions or statements on social media are perceived as insensitive, offensive, or inappropriate. This can lead to negative comments, hashtags, and even boycotts.

Data breaches

Data breaches can have a significant impact on a company's reputation. They can lead to loss of customer data, financial information, and other sensitive information. A data breach can also lead to legal action and damage a company's reputation.

Product recalls

Product recalls can damage a company's reputation, especially if they are not handled properly. They can lead to negative reviews and comments, loss of customers, and legal action.

Preparing for a crisis: Creating a crisis management plan

To effectively manage a crisis in ORM, it's important to have a crisis management plan in place. A crisis management plan outlines the steps that a company will take in the event of a crisis, including who will be responsible for managing the crisis, how information will be communicated, and how the crisis will be resolved.

The first step in creating a crisis management plan is to identify potential crises that the company may face. This can be done by reviewing past incidents, monitoring online conversations, and conducting a risk assessment. Once potential crises have been identified, the next step is to develop a plan for managing each crisis.

The crisis management plan should include a communication plan that outlines how information will be shared with stakeholders, including employees, customers, and the media. It should also include a plan for resolving the crisis, including who will be responsible for taking action and the steps that will be taken to mitigate the impact of the crisis.

Responding to a crisis: Tips for effective crisis management

When a crisis occurs, it's important to respond quickly and effectively. Here are some tips for effective crisis management in ORM:

Stay calm and objective

In the face of a crisis, it's important to stay calm and objective. Avoid getting emotional or defensive, and focus on addressing the issue at hand.

Be transparent and honest

Transparency and honesty are key to effective crisis management. Be upfront about the issue, and provide regular updates to stakeholders as the situation evolves.

Take responsibility

If the crisis was caused by the company's actions or inactions, take responsibility for the issue. This can help to rebuild trust with customers and stakeholders.

Provide a solution

Offer a solution to the problem, and take steps to prevent it from happening again in the future. This can help to mitigate the impact of the crisis and rebuild the company's reputation.

Monitoring and measuring the impact of a crisis

After a crisis has been resolved, it's important to monitor and measure the impact of the crisis. This can help to identify any lingering issues and ensure that the company's reputation has been fully restored.

Monitoring can be done by tracking online conversations, reviewing customer feedback, and conducting surveys. Measuring the impact of a crisis can be done by assessing changes in customer sentiment, sales, and other metrics.

Tools for crisis management in ORM

There are several tools available that can help with crisis management in ORM. These include:

Social media monitoring tools

Social media monitoring tools can help to track online conversations and identify potential issues before they become full-blown crises.

Reputation management software

Reputation management software can help to monitor and manage a company's online reputation, including reviews, comments, and social media conversations.

Crisis management software

Crisis management software can help to streamline the crisis management process, including communication with stakeholders, resolution of the crisis, and monitoring of the impact of the crisis.

Crisis management case studies

Let's take a look at some crisis management case studies to see how companies have effectively managed online reputation crises.

United Airlines

In 2017, United Airlines faced a crisis after a passenger was forcibly removed from a flight. The incident was captured on video and went viral, leading to widespread backlash. United Airlines responded quickly by issuing an apology and implementing new policies to prevent a similar incident from happening in the future.

Domino's Pizza

In 2009, Domino's Pizza faced a crisis when an employee posted a video of himself doing unsanitary things to food on YouTube. The video quickly went viral, leading to widespread negative publicity. Domino's Pizza responded quickly by issuing an apology, firing the employee, and implementing new policies to prevent a similar incident from happening in the future.

ORM crisis management services

If you don't have the time or resources to manage your company's online reputation and crisis management, there are several ORM crisis management services available. These services can help to monitor and manage your company's online reputation, identify potential issues, and respond to crises in a timely and effective manner.