Reputation Management for the Defendant of a Class Action Case

Filed under Reputation Management for the Defendant

Let’s face it; having a class action filed against your company is a blow.  It is not only financially significant, but it can alter the public’s perception of your company now and into the future. Using the internet to properly handle the media during a class action settlement can have a significant impact on the immediate and long-term future of the defendant company.

Below are a small handful of strategies that can be employed to help the defendant company in (some would argue) the most important court of all, the court of public opinion.

The Defendant Website

One great strategy is to effectively communicate the defendant’s side of the case through the defendant website. A socially acceptable, appropriately colored, friendly website will capture the attention of the typical class member of the case, and put a positive light on the situation at hand.

Speak Directly to Your Consumers

In a class action, where facts may be open to interpretation by the public, it’s a great idea to take a proactive stance and communicate with the class members directly.  This way you aren’t leaving yourself open to interpretation by the media, and your messages will be heard unfiltered and directly from the source.  By using strategic PR, well written articles and social videos (on the defendant website and properly placed throughout the internet), the defendant can inform their class members and reassure them about their integrity as a company.

Be Human

The first order of business when facing a class action suit is for the company to humanize themselves.  The most effective way to portrait the human side of a company during a settlement is to make one person (usually the CEO) the spokesperson on the website and in the main social networking sites which typical class members congregate in (see article titled: Reaching Class Members Through Social Media).

Use the Internet to its Maximum Advantage

You can be reasonably certain that the plaintiffs are using the internet to its maximum advantage; through social media, banner ads and written articles and websites. As the defendant company you should do the same, and use the internet to positively impact what may be a tarnished image using strategic Reputation Management Strategies.