During Episode 3 of How I Communicated That, I had the pleasure of speaking with two great communications professionals at Chipotle Mexican Grill – Laurie Schalow, Chief Communications Officer and Amy Jenkins, Internal Communications Manager – about reputation management. During the interview, Laurie and Amy shed light on the importance of the role of communications in dealing with a company crisis, and more specifically on how Chipotle proactively stays ahead of issues and maintains transparent relations with both its internal and external audiences.
Here are a few highlights from the episode:
Establish a Crisis Communications Plan: A common mistake many companies make when dealing with a crisis is putting PR and communications on the backburner and treating it as an afterthought when crises arise. By creating a proactive plan, communications teams not only will be ahead of problems before they present themselves, but will be seen as a more valuable partner to the business units within their company who they are communicating on behalf of.
Keep Employees in the Loop: Employees are critical to a company’s successful reputation management as they are the face of the company and represent it on a daily basis. It is therefore necessary to put just as much, if not more emphasis on internal brand management and making sure employees are well equipped when it comes to communicating externally. To accomplish this, employees should be the first to know about what’s going on in their company when it comes to both good and bad news. Delivering timely updates and transparent employee communication not only builds trust but also goodwill that will undoubtedly further employee engagement and positive morale within the company.
Leverage Technology to Communicate: From the utilization of internal communications apps to social media, today’s technologies allow companies to reach their desired audience instantaneously. This can make or break a company’s success when handling crisis situations as well as closely monitor internal and external brand reputations.
To hear my full conversation with Amy and Laurie, be sure to listen to the entire episode. The podcast will initially be available exclusively on the PRSA Member App and later on theEMPLOYEEapp.com. Be sure to join us for Episode 4 of How I Communicated That where I will be speaking with Pauline Draper-Watts, Executive Vice President of Edelman Intelligence, about the importance of the role of analytics in the success of communications.