Win it back with Communication
Ride on third-party outreach
Showing a way forward and giving tips to sketch a PR plan for brands like Maggi facing challanges, Dilip Cherian, the Co-founder and Consulting Partner of Perfect Relations, South Asia’s largest image management and lobbying firm says, “PR works best when it creates space for third-party endorsements. It cannot, therefore be always, just based on claims that any company or manufacturer can and will make about themselves. In the end it has to be weighed, vetted and endorsed externally. That’s the secret to getting good media coverage.
Therefore to regain confidence in a brand that has recently undergone a challenge to its image due to a crisis, Corporate Owners of the Brand, will do well to employ a PR programme that rides on third-party outreach. After that, media outreach and stakeholder outreach (like government and regulatory bodies) will kick in. In the end the outcome has to be about a set of “convinced” stakeholders and External Experts, willing to stand by the brand in question.
It is a more credible and subtle way of convincing your audiences rather than a direct, in-your-face approach – ultimately it is about harnessing the “convinced space” that PR works in, that is likely to make all the difference to Customer perceptions.”
Be dogmatic about authenticity
To build trust you need to be dogmatic about authenticity. A culture that is authentic – both in the manner in which you conduct yourself and your communication – is pivotal in inspiring trust. This is supplemented by a sound Public Relations campaign, which can build trust for a brand as it creates third-party advocacy; that in turn leads to credibility. PR consultancies are already equipped to respond to situations that affect/ impact trust. I believe now they will be at the epicentre of trust-building for relevant stakeholders, whether these are governments, civil societies or corporations. Building trust takes a long time but once trust is built, it makes it much easier to conduct business.
PR consultancies, however, need to redefine their strategy keeping in mind that the public is more active, more knowledgeable, more engaged and more empowered to make choices. The focus must shift from managing the media to spending more time on advising and counseling CEOs and board members to engage in relationship-building activities. The stress should be on authenticity and ethics, consistent communication and dialogue.”