Managing the reputational risks of Covid-19 reopening

By 52M Consulting Ltd

29 May 2020

The Coronavirus lockdown has damaged the economy and put businesses under significant financial pressure, and so it's easy to see why so many are eager to reopen and restart now the Government has begun to reduce restrictions.

So-called 'non-essential' high street shops have been hit particularly hard, but even office-based businesses have been affected.

Many are now busy undertaking Covid-19 risk assessments and thinking about new health and safety measures that will help keep colleagues and customers safe - things like floor stickers to enforce the 2 metre rule, sneeze guards, changes to working practices and working hours, and the installation of hand santiser stations.

However, while they're thinking about the new health and safety risks presented by a return to work during a public health crisis, it's unlikely they will also be thinking through the communications and reputational risks.

Yet they must.

It doesn't take much effort to imagine a scenario where someone that has visited your premises goes on to develop what they think are Covid-19 symptoms and to then (rightly or wrongly) lay the blame at the door of your business.

The reputational impacts of this and other similar scenarios could be far reaching and damage the chances of successfully recovering from the current economic slowdown.

So, what should businesses be doing to get to grips with these reputational risks?

Just like in a health and safety risk assessment, think about all the things that could (reasonably foreseeably) cause a reputational headache, consider how and where details might get into the public domain, explore how these risks could be minimised and then develop mitigation measures - so if a problem does occur, there's a plan in place for dealing with it.

And do it now.

It's particularly important to think through how you might respond to a publicly circulated claim that your business is somehow responsible for the spread of infection, and to do so dispassionately with a cool, calm head.

This is because the very last thing you want to find yourself doing is reacting when something has gone bad and you're under fire in crisis mode - because, in that emotionally distressed state, your decisions won't be as good and you're more likely to make mistakes that compound the problem.

Warren Buffet, boss of Berkshire Hathaway, is commonly referred to as the world's greatest investor. He's credited with this sage advice: "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently."

So, do something differently now. Make time to understand, prepare and plan for the communications and reputational risks of your Covid-19 reopening and restart - it'll help you to secure your recovery for the long term.

If you'd like to explore this topic in more depth, you can sign-up to access free learning materials available online through our Google Classroom. Register here now.

Enjoyed this? Read more from 52M Consulting Ltd

Latest news

1

Appley Bridge consultancy wins third industry award in USA EPIC Award Win

Appley Bridge consultancy wins third industry award in USA

17 May 2024

2

Navigator completes £131m takeover of Accrol accrol-papers-500x328.jpg

Navigator completes £131m takeover of Accrol

16 May 2024

3

Pendle Hotspots: Opportunity knocks Nelson Pendle By Andy Ford

Pendle Hotspots: Opportunity knocks

17 May 2024

4

Waddington & Son celebrates Mental Health Awareness Week Waddington (1).png.png

Waddington & Son celebrates Mental Health Awareness Week

17 May 2024

5

Tech institute calls for business support in addressing skills gaps Lancashire And Cumbria Institute Of Technology

Tech institute calls for business support in addressing skills gaps

17 May 2024

Lbv116 Ltb Strip980
Background image for hub sign up block

LBV Hub

Reach 50,000 members of the Lancashire business community

Post your news
Post your events
Post your offers
Company profile
Social reach
Magazine coverage
Sign-up
Events
Wedding Dress Shopping Weekend
wedding12.jpg.jpg
LBV Hub Fundraisers
18 May 2024 - 19 May 2024

Wedding Dress Shopping Weekend

St Catherine's Hospice, Preston, PR5 5XU

10:00 - 16:00

Business Networking in Blackburn - BNI Vista
EVENT LISTING SIZING Vista.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
21 May 2024

Business Networking in Blackburn - BNI Vista

Hampton by Hilton, 2 Frontier Ave, Blackburn, BB1 3AL

06:45 - 08:30

Business Networking in Chorley - BNI Endeavour
EVENT LISTING SIZING Endeavour.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
21 May 2024

Business Networking in Chorley - BNI Endeavour

Oak Royal, Bury Lane, Chorley, PR6 8SW

06:30 - 08:30

Your Business Bootcamp
CBP-logo LBV.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
22 May 2024

Your Business Bootcamp

Burnley Football Club, Turf Moor, 52-56 Harry Potts Way, Burnley, BB10 4BX

08:30 - 13:30

Business Networking in Preston - BNI Diamond
EVENT LISTING BNI Diamond.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
22 May 2024

Business Networking in Preston - BNI Diamond

The Marriot Hotel, Garstang Road, Broughton, PR3 5JB

07:15 - 09:00

Business Networking in Lancaster - Eden Business Network
EVENT LISTING Eden Business Network.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
22 May 2024

Business Networking in Lancaster - Eden Business Network

The Borough, 3 Dalton Square, Lancaster, LA1 1PP

18:30 - 20:30

Business Networking in Accrington - BNI Zeus
EVENT LISTING SIZING Zeus.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
22 May 2024

Business Networking in Accrington - BNI Zeus

The Mill House, Corn Mill Yard, Accrington, BB5 5HX

06:45 - 08:30

Business Networking in Lancaster - BNI Castle
EVENT LISTING BNI Castle.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
23 May 2024 - 23 May 2024

Business Networking in Lancaster - BNI Castle

Vale of Lune RUFC, Powder House Lane, Lancaster, LA1 2TT

06:45 - 08:30

Chamber Breakfast Networking
Chamber Logo1.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
23 May 2024 - 23 May 2024

Chamber Breakfast Networking

HIC, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster, LA1 4AT

08:00 - 10:00

Business Networking in Burnley - BNI Kudos
EVENT LISTING BNI Kudos.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
23 May 2024 - 23 May 2024

Business Networking in Burnley - BNI Kudos

Prairie Sports Village, Windemere Avenue, Burnley, BB10 2FU

06:45 - 08:30

Creative Lancashire Networking Social
Untitled design-4.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
23 May 2024

Creative Lancashire Networking Social

Society1 Coworking Space, Preston, PR1 3LT

17:30 - 19:30

Business Networking in Preston - BNI Brunch
EVENT LISTING SIZING Brunch .png.png
LBV Hub Networking
24 May 2024

Business Networking in Preston - BNI Brunch

Samlesbury Hotel, Preston, PR5 0UL

09:30 - 11:00

Advertise with us

Reaching 50,000 members, our print, digital and event platforms offer a fantastic way to raise your business profile and help you grow.

Find out more LBV116 Online Graphic
Subscribe now

Weekly news bulletin