“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it” – Benjamin Franklin
Franklin certainly was correct. Good reputations are created through positive action, language and circumstance.
It takes years to build a solid, strong, respected reputation. Yet, as many sports clubs and athletes have had to come to terms with, a hard-earned reputation can be damaged much more quickly.
Just ask FIFA, Lance Armstrong or Tiger Woods, to name a few.
Accusations of cover-ups, doping and personal problems have had a devastating impact on the reputation of these and many others in the world of sport.
If the first few weeks are anything to go by, 2015 promises to be a year rocked by more sports scandals and yet much of the potential damage can be avoided.
There are basic principles that every athlete, sports club or organisation – from the small, local levels to global communities – should be aware of to avoid damaging their brand in 2015.
So how do you prepare for a crisis?
1. Plan, plan and plan some more. Make sure you prepare for any possible scenario which may affect your reputation with statements, Q&As and draft press releases which can be adapted to the relevant situation
2. Practice, practice, practice. Undertake regular media training to hone your skills in front of the camera in case the media come knocking. And make sure everyone knows the correct procedure if a crisis occurs
3. If crisis does strike, it must be managed well at the initial outbreak even if information is sparse. That means ensuring that you communicate quickly, if only to acknowledge the situation before more facts are clear
4. Ensure all communication channels are consistent - including on social media
5. Communicate with your stakeholders. In times of crisis, these partnerships should be given extra attention to again ensure voices are unified and everyone involved is kept abreast of the situation
Do you have concerns about the reputation of your club or organisation? Get in touch to discuss how we can help.