09 November 2018
Helen Westgate, Director & Founder

Agenda item number one – issues management

Issues management

Never before has issues management been more important to businesses and organisations through the UK and globally.

With social media now a dominant reality in our daily lives, and within this online world the emergence of thousands of “reporters” commenting, with no filter, on all aspects of their daily lives to their audiences, from the products they buy to the customer service they receive, all companies at some point will have to deal with an issue online.

The truth is that in this digital world it is impossible to ever quash negative comments about your products or services completely but what you can do is counterbalance any negative commentary that may appear with accurate and truthful content and responses, which are full of integrity and professionalism, to position your business or organisation as a responsible industry leader, committed to delivering outstanding products and services.

Issues management today is now very democratic. The challenge of managing perceptions about your business or organisation is now as valid to the small corner shop as it is to a multinational corporation – online issues management is now a modern business reality and should be at the top of any business’ agenda, no matter what they do or their sector.

The key for all businesses to managing their reputations online successfully actually lies in two old-fashioned concepts – planning and preparation. It is important to both identify any possible issues that may arise, and then plan in great detail, ideally with a team of communications specialists, exactly how you as an organisation would respond to each issue and why.

Once this issues management plan is in place, the next step is to undertake all the necessary preparation work. To get this right will be a highly involved process, and a lot of work, but regularly monitoring the relevant forums and online platforms for latest views and opinions and then drafting a series of tailored and specific pre-prepared positioning statements for each issue will be two crucial areas of activity, as well as ensuring all employees are aware of your issues management protocols and how to respond appropriately!

Once the plan is in the place your team will feel much more confident that they can respond to issues when they arise more effectively, to protect the interests of your business or organisation as well as manage the corporate reputation and protect commercial objectives.

So, no matter what the size, all businesses and organisations now need to be prepared to protect their reputations and proactively manage their issues online. Those that don’t grasp this harsh business reality will find themselves trailing behind the herd commercially as we go into 2019 and beyond.

If you would be interested in a confidential chat with one of our issues management experts about how to manage your reputation online more effectively please contact us and we would be delighted to schedule an initial call or a meeting with you and your team.


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