Experts shared recommendations to turn the crisis into an opportunity and increase reputation for companies that are looking for ways to survive the difficult period due to coronavirus with the least losses. Assoc. Prof. Selin Türkel, Head of Department of Public Relations and Advertising, Izmir University of Economics (IUE), listed her recommendations in 8 items and she said, “Firms that make creative contributions to society will gain reputation and strength in the crisis period. Firms should not look opportunistic while doing these, they should create sincerity. If necessary, they should also be open to collaborating with competitors.”
Reminding that the fight against epidemic continues without interruption as well as the steps of normalization around the world are being implemented, Assoc. Prof. Selin Türkel noted that national and international institutions' reputation management processes and their plans for the future have changed.
DIGITALIZING IS NOT ONLY USING SOCIAL MEDIA
Stating that companies act on solidarity and social benefit oriented to improve their corporate reputations, Assoc. Prof. Turkel said, “Companies should not forget that their brands are not just a product or service, they are in the minds of stakeholders with their promises and stories. Managers should review which channels they use to reach the community. They must reconstruct those which do not fit into the spirit of time. Today, the spirit of time is 'digitalization' and 'agility'. However, digitalization should not be thought of as just being on social media. Companies should record the data that comes from the history of their brands and that are formed today. The process should be handled holistically, 'big data' should be created and management should be ensured accordingly. The most important way to manage big data is to understand the demands of employees, suppliers, media, universities and local communities, especially customers, correctly.”
DO NOT PANIC IF YOU MAKE A MISTAKE
Assoc. Prof. Türkel continued her words as follows: “Companies should list the stakeholders' expectations from the brand in order of importance. They should plan which effective elements they can manage these expectations with. The most important expectation in times of crisis is that the brand gives something to the society without expecting something in return. Additionally, companies should not hesitate to cooperate with their competitors in a difficult period. Steps should be taken in line with the insight of the stakeholders. Firms should not look opportunistic while doing these, they should create sincerity. They should give priority to practices that will give morale to society. Companies should be active not only in practice, but also in the communication of what they do. Support can be obtained from communication experts during this period. Companies can make mistakes in discourse or projecting in such a difficult period. In such a situation, panicking should be avoided. Mistakes and corrective actions should also be clearly shared.”
1) Remember that your brand is not just a product or service, it is in the minds of stakeholders with its promises and story.
2) Do not perceive digitalization only as a presence on social media. Record your brand's past and current data.
3) Understand the expectations of employees, suppliers, media, universities, local communities, and customers in particular.
4) List stakeholders' expectations from your brand in order of importance. Plan how effective you can manage these demands.
5) The most important expectation in times of crisis is that the brand gives something to the society without expecting something in return. Don't look opportunistic, build sincerity.
6) Make sure to develop projects focused on solidarity and social benefits.
7) Be open to collaboration with competitors.
8) If you make a mistake, don't panic. Explicitly share your mistake and corrective actions.