The Important Role of Ethics in Reputation Management

If there’s no trust on both sides of the equation, doing business will be pretty much next to impossible. One sure shot way to break that trust is for one party behaving unethically.

Formerly, unethical organizations were able to get away with their wrongdoings easily since the news could not travel very fast. However, this is not the way things work now. Cross the wrong social media influencer, and your whole company’s reputation can be shattered into pieces overnight. There have been many incidents like this that prove this statement.

A HASHTAG MIGHT MEAN IT’S TOO LATE

Whether there is any evidence or not, even the perception or idea of unethical business practices can cause a reputation management disaster. No matter if there is little to no evidence apart from a screenshot of a piece of an alleged conversation between the company and the accuser in the name of proof. There isn’t time for the companies to try to explain their side of the story to the public in today’s atmosphere. Because by the time they can prepare their response in their defense to the attack, the damage has been done already.

Now, what does this mean for the brand that is just getting started with its online reputation management? As simple as it sounds while reading, it is tough in practice – the company needs to avoid even the perception of wrongdoing. Word traveling as fast as lightning and a mob of people prepared to leap to conclusions makes reputation management more critical now than ever. A brand must be armed all the time to safeguard its reputation, and unethical behavior makes this extremely harder. By the time you see a hashtag #boycottXYZcompany trending on the internet, it might be too late to reverse the damage.

WHAT IS REGARDED AS ETHICAL BEHAVIOR TODAY?

In the present-day politicized environment, even mundane topics take the form of a controversy, which makes this question a complicated one to answer. However, the only obvious solution that seems to be helpful here is steering clear of anything that even reeks of politics. While doing this might not always be possible, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind.

While respecting others’ politics and opinions, these are the only aspects that can bring a company or an executive down with a damaged reputation.

  1. Failing to deliver what was promised: This applies to both employees as well as customers. Be worthy of trust. Your reputation is just as good as your word.
  2. Indulging in criminal activities: Needless to say, companies and executives must adhere to the laws of the land.
  3. Violating human rights: This again goes without saying. Any type of anti-religious policies, labor abuses, workplace abuses, disregarding human rights and equality for all, etc. must be strictly avoided.

Typically, when one of these three mentioned points are violated, only then a company fails to weather a reputation disaster. When a brand is genuine and honest, character assassination, cancel culture, and media attacks don’t have the power to wipe out a company because its workforce and customers will support it.

Apart from all this, there are still some ‘universally accepted’ business ethics that companies can adhere to:

  • Never lie
  • Obey the laws
  • Take good care of your customers
  • Offer a good workplace to your employees

However, with any human endeavor, there will be times when a company fails to meet its ethical business standards, and that’s totally understandable. If unethical behavior takes place, showing responsibility, and taking ownership of any past miscue is a great way for a business to protect its reputation despite the impropriety.

While a reputation crisis can lead to a loss of millions in revenue in a very short span of time, it does not have to shatter a company entirely necessarily.

Conclusion – Learn From the Mistakes of Others, Not the Hard Way

There are numerous examples of brands handling reputation crises resulting from unethical business practices, both nicely and poorly, and both sets of examples give meaningful lessons. Some people might argue that it’s just a matter of time before a business finds itself on the hit list for an alleged impropriety; people can get an audience more easily than ever, and there are individuals online whose job includes finding the next social media outrage. All these facts should make it pretty clear why it is vital to set high ethical standards and react promptly and transparently when your business falls short of those standards. After all, at the end of the day, the public is going to find out either way. Therefore, adhere to ethical behavior to avoid a reputation crisis in the first place. And just in case misconduct does occur, be sure to handle it correctly the first time and never ever make the same mistake twice.

Hariom Balhara is an inventive person who has been doing intensive research in particular topics and writing blogs and articles for Tireless IT Services. Tireless IT Services is a digital marketingSEOSMOPPC, and web development company that comes with massive experiences.  We specialize in digital marketing, web designing and development, graphic design, and a lot more.

SOURCE : The Important Role of Ethics in Reputation Management

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