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Damage Control: How to preserve your company’s reputation in a time of crisis
By Caitlin Coakley Few small businesses will ever face a PR nightmare like BP’s, which is stuck watching its damaged equipment pump thousands of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico every day and wondering how to keep public opinion from turning against the company. But many could someday face a crisis that will threaten their reputation. “It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when,” said David Coburn, senior vice president of the Charlotte-based marketing and communications firm Luquire George Andrews. “All companies, regardless of size, face the same risk of having their brand or their reputation damaged irreparably by something they can’t foresee.” The possibilities are endless: A business releases a tainted product. An employee is caught embezzling money, or turns violent on his or her colleagues. A company loses personal data on its client’s employees.