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Reputation Management

June 16, 2010

As the news continues to unfold about the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, one of the most important issues rising to the surface isn’t the oil itself but whose fault it is the oil continues to spew out into the beautiful Gulf waters.  Is it BP’s fault for wasting so much time? President Obama’s error for not demanding stronger action quick enough? Highly educated engineers’ mistake for not having an air tight mechanical solution? In every major crisis, fingers are pointed towards parties involved in the problem.

Women entrepreneurs can face public relations crisis as well. There are many times in our business life when problems arise with disgruntled clients, aggressive competitors, and negative community reaction that challenge our personal and corporate reputation. Most women business owners haven’t faced the height of criticism the CEO of BP or the President of the USA has dealt with over this tragic environmental situation, but we have or should expect sometime to face some sort of public relations crisis. Will we be prepared? Do we have a good reputation management plan in place? Would we know where to turn if we needed advice on the subject?

Just like the devastation of the oil spill was hard to predict, so are future challenging events that could negatively affect our corporate reputation. Witnessing two months of the oil spill tragedy has reminded me how vital it is to have some type of reputation management plan in place – and not only one that keeps constituents happy –  but one that is sincere, honest and action-orientated.

 Today’s Women TIES blog is to challenge you to invest time contemplating what you would do, who you would turn to, and how you might handle a reputation management issue. Do you need to become more educated in this public relations issue? Do you have a professional you could turn to for advice? Let’s not wait until a crisis occurs in our company to think about solutions. It doesn’t mean we are pessimistic or paranoid, it means we are prepared and poised to face any unexpected situation that rises to the surface and challenges the beautiful environment we created.

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