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Tamara Jokanović for magazine Karakter: It’s time for ‘restart’ and ‘recovery mode’

Blog - Jun 22, 2020

Are you ready to tackle the unknown once again?

First there was lack of knowledge, probably the archenemy of today. Although it is sometimes necessary to be bold, daring and even risk to achieve defined goals, it is actually the riskiest thing to do. Tackle the unknown, unprepared for the most important things in life – health and human lives!

Now, when they say that the worst is over, not only are we facing the risk for or own health and human lives, but also the “black swan” effect, which launched the global economic crisis, whose scope we can only glimpse. Unfortunately, we are now not encountering the unknown, but immeasurable consequences that will impact business operations of a large number of business entities. Reputation of many companies and brands already is or will be tarnished due to reduced revenue and salaries, cancellation of agreed deals, uncertainty about further development of the virus, fear from a potential second wave of the COVID-19 epidemic, sending people to forced leave, layoffs or non-extension of labour contracts, late settlement of financial commitments, as well as long-term inability to get employees back to office.

Reputation built by companies and brands for years may disappear and be lost literally overnight!

A vast number of companies have already faced or will face employee and client dissatisfaction and failed business plans. The adverse situation which companies will overcome with new business models or with returning to the ‘old new’ requires help and assistance in every segment, and they will need support, well-thought actions and planned communication more than ever before.

We are talking about a multitude of reputational risks which companies may come across – data and operation protection, safety and health of employees during the crisis and after returning to office, relations with third parties and suppliers, ethical risks, brand stagnation due to inability to communicate and operate under normal conditions, regulatory nonconformity… And I could on…

Even the companies which have recorded a higher workload during the crisis will face challenges of adjusting to new business conditions – a ‘new model’ of work organisation due to the altered circumstances and stronger need for protection of employee health at work, as well as the issues that emerged during the crisis and are now coming to the surface… to say the last.

Photo: Sanda Mokanić

It is evident that all these facts directly impact corporate reputation.

Industries and companies that are most hit by the crisis will have to make difficult and unpopular decisions, if they have not already… You will agree that, no matter what action they take, it will largely affect the reputation they have built for years, either positive or negative, and have an impact on further business operations. It is important to note that, regardless of whether a company is hit by the crisis in a good or a bad way, after returning to the ‘normal operating mode’, communication becomes a key tool in both gaining and maintaining or recovering reputation and will define further positioning of a company in the eyes of its employees, partners, relevant stakeholders, media and SoMe audience.

Regardless of whether an entity is hit by the crisis in a good or a bad way, after returning to the ‘normal operating mode’, communication becomes a key tool in both gaining and maintaining or recovering reputation

Are you ready to tackle the unknown once again?

Will you shut down, restart or apply reputation recovery mode? A white or a black swan – it is up to you!

And if you ask a life-long optimist to look into the future realistically, you will realise that such people always choose a happy end! Not because of their nature, but because they fight for such outcomes, no matter how hard the road is and how insurmountable obstacles seem!

The article is published in magazine ‘Karakter’

Author

Tamara Jokanović

Managing Director (Represent Communications, Belgrade)

An eternal optimist and enthusiast who believes that there is a solution for every new challenge.

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