For businesses, being in a lawsuit brings the potential to realize damages that extend far beyond the courtroom. Legal battles (and scandals) could put a company’s market share in jeopardy since public trust is also a valuable commodity. Sometimes scourge of a public scandal is unavoidable. We’ve seen it with Uber (troubling sex discrimination claims), United Airlines (images of a mistreated passenger going viral) and Volkswagen (a decade of cheating on emissions tests).
When these types of events unfold, how can a company regain public trust? This post will provide some helpful tips.
Own the issue and be accountable – Nothing makes a company more unlikable than blame-shifting and failing to take responsibility for a public gaffe. These sentiments breed resentment and do not engender public sympathy. The road to redemption begins with owning up to the issue and announcing measurable steps to address the issue.
Emphasize the good and how it outweighs the bad – Your company’s success was not achieved in a vacuum. On the way to prosperity you did a number of good things. Whether it was providing opportunities in underserved communities, taking up a philanthropic cause or being a subject leader in an area of need, refocusing efforts on good deeds will help in getting back to business.
Know when to lay low – There’s something to the adages “let the dust settle” and “time heals all wounds.” Simply put, with the right amount of effort and time, it is possible to regain brand strength and market share. After all, most beneficial settlements come after a great deal of time and consideration.
If you have questions about your company’s legal options in the throes of a business scandal, an experienced attorney can advise you.