When IR Magazine asked investor relations executives around the world what the most important thing to protect during a crisis, the answer wasn’t stock price or even shareholder retention. These key people whose job it is to nurture how the company’s stock is valued cited reputation as often as stock price and shareholder retention combined.
There is a lesson here. These big, publicly traded companies spend millions of dollars in programs to keep their stock highly valued and keeping their shareholders from finding someplace else to invest their money. But in crisis, all that takes a back seat to protecting the company’s hard-earned reputation. These executives know that their company’s good name really is their most important asset.
Most crises happen to much smaller operations. But while they might not have to worry about how the stock markets will treat them, their reputation is every bit as important as it is to the multi-national giants.
Here’s what the big IR guys know. It’s a lot easier to win back investors with a good name than it is with a bad one. And that’s true as well for businesses who can sustain a short-term loss of customers because if they can reaffirm their good name then the customers will come back. This is true for non-profits and other institutions, too.
So, when a crisis hits – or an issue threatens to become a crisis – fight with all your might to protect your good name. Measure everything you say or do against it would support or undermine what people think about you. Show them why they have trusted you in the past and give them more reasons to trust you in the future.
You can read the full IR Magazine research report at http://tinyurl.com/72qyezz.