Business Continuity Management, brand and reputation

Should a serious incident take place then it is vital that an organisation takes measures that will prevent damage to its branding and reputation. Negative news media coverage together with the rise in the use of social media means that the correct handling of any situation that arises is vital.

If any organisation were to make, or be perceived to make, a series of poor decisions when undertaking restorative measures and communicating with customers, interested parties and the media then even long established brands can be badly damaged and lose their good reputation. A brand is regarded as a promise to be kept and once negativity is introduced it is extremely difficult to recover from that position. It can take many years to build a strong and reputable market image, which could be destroyed in a very short time due to bad impressions.

This, importantly, also applies when designing a Business Continuity Management (BCM) programme where the failure to recover from an incident within a reasonable timescale will damage the reputation of the organisation amongst its customers, interested parties and partners.

In order to protect consumers and save the product or service it may be necessary to take positive action in alerting customers though news and social media to advise them of the problem regarding a product or service that may include not consuming the goods or using the services and to wait until the situation has been resolved. It could also include withdrawal of the product / service until the situation has been resolved.

Although this could be expensive this would ensure that both the brand and the reputation of the company was preserved and that in the longer term the media, interested parties and the public would retain their faith in the both the organisation and current and future products / services.