Crisis Management Strategy – Healing A Burned Reputation

Brook Zimmatore | April 18, 2013

Mind impression

Crisis Management is the new corporate rage. Formulating, preparing and training for every PR crisis has to be included in every business model and—it has to be perfect.

Tutor2u gives a great overview of what must be included in any crisis management strategy. Describing the 2 elements which summarize any crisis contingency plan:

  • Preparing for predictable and quantifiable crises
  • Preparing for unexpected and unwelcome events

When we think of great or failed crisis management case studies we think of the Dominos crisis as a leading example of a great PR response but lack of viral media control, or United Airlines Breaks Guitars case study as an epic failure in handling a disgruntled customer, which again led to a viral outbreak.

Traditional Crisis Management

After becoming familiar with dozens of crisis management companies out there, my initial reaction was that these guys use only segments of PR and reputation tools. The majority of firms offer PR guidance for social media, the nurturing of client trust and loyal followers as well as holding strength in the media to control a potential fallout. All great resources and skills might I add, but traditional crisis management does not take into consideration the cleaning of negative results.

At Massive, our focus is resolving the matter of long-lasting stains which linger on the internet search results long after the person or brand took a hit. The tutor2u website gives 5 steps of the life of a crisis.

Massive resolves 4 & 5.

5 steps of crisis

 Image courtesy of

The repeated message creates an impression on the mind

For something to be remembered and passed around long after it has happened, it requires the continuous “feeding of life” into the message. The internet, unfortunately, is close to a timeless box of information. So it must then be deducted that to remove this message from people’s minds, you have to stop giving that message life.

Viral Onslaught has to be met with matching power

In the face of the raging wildfire of viral media, there is not much one can do in terms of “suppressing” the infection. Like germs, it will spread to every crevice and then, spread again. Once it is out, you have to do 4 steps:

  • Ignore the attack but gather the information
  • Formulate a public response which alleviate the most negative emotion
  • Get it everywhere
  • Online Reputation Management

Down with the negative, up with the positive

This is where online reputation management fits into the crisis management strategy. This includes:

  • Re-evaluating the brand as to its message
  • Working out how it could best engage potential and existing followers online
  • Online media, content network carefully designed for maximum impact
  • Investing in the creation of that network
  • Organizing for constant communication across every platform in a natural but effective manner
  • Removal or demotion of “sticky links”
  • Investigation of online attackers and cyber forensic evidence gathered.
  • Taking a legal approach to online defamation

CEO / Co-Founder
Brook Zimmatore is the Co-Founder & CEO at Massive.