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Reputation repair: The 5 stages of crisis recovery
The immediate crisis has been handled, but the corporate brand is damaged. How does a company repair a tarnished reputation? Once lost, how does a company rebuild brand equity? While the acute phase of crisis communication is well documented, crisis recovery is less understood and equally critical.
Research shows that crises are long-tail events occurring with increasing frequency. Financial fallout extends well beyond the immediate incident. According to an Oxford Metrica study, post-crisis share price drops as much as 15 percent a full year later. An analysis of crisis-linked media mentions for the top 100 Forbes-ranked companies showed it is 80 times more likely that a company will be associated with a crisis in this decade than the last.More crises. Greater frequency. Broader coverage. Faster reporting. It’s a devil’s brew that can continue to ferment unless proactive steps are taken to rebuild the brand.The “Five Stages of Crisis Recovery” model presents a framework that will lead the company from the adrenaline-fueled crisis response mindset to a strategic, methodical, purpose-driven outreach program.
Five stages of crisis recovery
- Recognize the acute crisis has ended, time for a shift to recovery mode.
- Recalibrate activities, assess the damage to the company, brand.
- Repair reputation, articulate an outreach strategy for key stakeholders.
- Redirect negative dialogue, preempt with positive programming.
- Reinvigorate brand values and the stated social contract.
A common thread woven into each of the five stages is the idea of expectation management. Often overlooked, expectation management can determine the success or failure of even the best-laid plan. It is critical to manage recovery expectations at all levels of the organization and across all stakeholder groups.
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