These days crises like breaches, ransomware attacks and natural disasters have become all too common and businesses have to contend with keeping core operations running and addressing any reputation fallout that comes with the crisis. During a crisis, misinformation and rumors can spread quickly and seriously damage a company’s reputation, resulting in lost revenue. That’s why it’s so important for businesses to think about how to protect their reputation during a crisis. Here are five tips on how to do so:

1. Build crisis communication into your business continuity plan

Having a strategy to communicate with the outside world about the crisis is a key component of business continuity. Think about which crises could hit your businesses and how they could impact your brand and company’s bottom line and prepare accordingly. Make sure to have a trusted PR team or corporate communications role who can release the relevant communications quickly when a crisis hits. This helps avoid negative responses from stakeholders and harm to your company’s reputation and stock value.

2. Communicate with your employees.

Clarity is key during a crisis. Each employee should know their role and understand what the company’s official line is. They should also be kept informed about what is happening during a crisis. One helpful way to keep employees in the loop and avoid spread of misinformation is to have a single point of contact for crisis information, such as broadcast messages to the company.

3. Respond Quickly with a Public Statement.

When a crisis hits, it’s important to respond quickly with a public statement. That way, when the media covers the story, you have a role in shaping the narrative told about the crisis. Moving quickly matters—when companies don’t respond within the first few hours people tend to assume that either it’s the company’s fault or that they’re not in charge of their messaging.

4. Think About Your Customers.

During a crisis it’s important to think about your customers and the questions they may have and craft your messaging to address those concerns. Customers who have your back are a huge asset because they can vouch for you, helping you maintain your company’s reputation during a crisis.

5. Use Social Media to Your Advantage.

Journalists regularly turn to Twitter as a source. Sharing external updates like your public statement on social media can help you control the narrative around your company and the crisis. You can also monitor social media to see what customers and stakeholders are saying about the crisis—and cater your response to meet their concerns.

Reputation management is a core component of any strong business continuity plan; it protects you from lost value, revenue and permanent reputation damage. At Vaporstream, we understand that which is why our secure communications solution makes sure you can communicate important information both internally and to the public even if your main network is down. Using Vaporstream, you can securely strategize your public response during a crisis, broadcast messages to employees about the situation, and communicate with key stakeholders, journalists and more without having to worry about the information being compromised. Learn more about what makes us secure here.

Contributor: The Vaporstream Team