Uncancelling 101: Using Business-Tried Methods to Rebuild Your Reputation
Reputation is the main source of strength of influencers so it is important to take care of it. The opinion of the public can swiftly change and have detrimental effects on influencers and their brands. Take, for example, popular beauty YouTuber James Charles who lost 3,000,000 followers shortly after his alleged bad behavior was brought to light. So how does one rebuild reputation after the public “canceled” you? As it turns out, there are business-tried methods to do so.
Before you address an issue that affects your reputation, it pays to freeze external communication and do a detached assessment of the situation, says Coltrane Curtis of Team Epiphany. Despite the normal emotional response to defend yourself right away, it is a knee-jerk and impassioned response which only opens the doors to more criticism. It makes you appear unprofessional. Complaint Base recommends that you locate a platform you can read complaints lodged against you. Doing so makes it easier to understand what the problem is and what you can do about it. For example, big companies like Tesla and Starbucks all use the tested “conduct internal investigation” to assess what is causing backlash or hits to their reputation.
Time the Response
While you shouldn’t jump the gun, you should not take too much time to formulate a response either. Roughly 83% of people expect businesses and brands to respond to comments within a day or two, according to Clutch. You roughly have the same window of time to formulate your response. For example, when big brands Sephora was being besieged by backlash following the scandal over Olivia Jade, the brand took 24 hours to respond with a statement. The time they took allowed them to assess the situation and formulate an appropriate response. The brand also made sure that the response was timely and it worked.
Address the Issue Concisely
Beyond assessing the issue and timing your response, the actual response is what will make or break your reputation. You must address those directly affected by the issue and then present what you’re going to do next. For example, James Charles directly addressed the allegedly slighted Tati Westbrook. He apologized for what he may have said and done to offend and promptly showed evidence to counter more serious allegations about him. Following his response, Charles regained most, if not all, the followers he lost during the scandal and is back to enjoying his lucrative career.
Your reputation can be sullied and netizens can cry out to boycott or “cancel” you. However, it is something that you can recover from as long as you apply proper methods to approach the situation. Most of all, sincerity and actual progress are what will help you sustain a recovered reputation.