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A business’s reputation is something that can take years to build, but seconds to shatter. Whether it be a data breach, a scandal involving a senior member of your executive team or a lapse in business ethics, a damaged reputation can have severe consequences on a company’s long-term sustainability.   

At BlueChip, we recognise the delicate nature of reputation management and the critical role it plays in brand perception. Leveraging our expertise, we’ve put together a series of steps that will help when rebuilding a damaged reputation, particularly during a crisis.  

Step 1: Acknowledge the mistake and take responsibility 

The first step when trying to rebuild a damaged reputation is to get on the front foot and take responsibility for what has happened. When something goes wrong, your customers want to know what’s happened and what you are doing to fix it. Therefore, you need to be honest and up front; complacency and hesitancy will only do more harm to your brand in a crisis, and even more so if you wait for someone else to pick up the pieces – like we’ve seen in recent times with the Optus outage at the end of 2023. 

Step 2: Find out what went wrong and get to work 

More often than not, a crisis will rear its head when you least expect, as was the case with Latitude Finance in March of 2023 when the personal data of over 300,000 customers had been stolen. After your initial acknowledgement and communication with your audience, it’s important that you and your team get to work internally to find out the root cause of the issue. From here you can craft a plan deciding how best to approach and resolve the issue.  

Assemble your Crisis Response Team of everyone who needs to be involved, including C-Suite, communications, and your agency partner. If you don’t have a retained PR consultancy, you may want to consider enlisting additional support from a provider who can assist with expanded social and media monitoring to gather public sentiment around the issue, while also providing you with specific, detailed advice on how to proceed from a communication perspective.  

Step 3: Stay connected   

There’s no such thing as over communicating during a crisis. Whether that be through regular statements across your social media channels, statements (or media releases in the press) or even internal communications with your staff, it’s mission critical that you provide updates along the way.  

Some businesses even go as far as setting up response hotlines by phone or through an information page on the firm’s website, just like Medibank did in 2022 when they were victims of a cyber-attack which saw their customers data stolen. 

Step 4: Breathe 

While it may feel as though you have battered from pillar to post, rest assured your crisis will blow over. And if your communications team has done a good job, then you could even come out the other side without having experienced any damage to your reputation.  

Step 5: Time to rebuild 

It’s important that you keep an eye on (or ear out) for any backlash that appears over the coming days or weeks and get ahead of that negative commentary through proactive, positive content that can be shared with your stakeholders and also aid your SEO efforts.  Protecting a good reputation through prevention is key.


Rebuilding a damaged reputation is a challenging but essential process for long-term business success. By acknowledging mistakes, alongside the development and implementation of a comprehensive communication plan, you can emerge from a crisis as a stronger and more robust business.  

While it can seem like a daunting task at the time, ensuring you have a strong team of communications experts will allow you to navigate through the crisis and support you every step of the way. 

If you’d like to discuss our reputation management services that can assist your organisation, please call us or fill out our contact form here. 

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