Over the past year, the #metoo movement has sparked many to come forward to report sexual harassment and assault. As a result, companies across the globe have had to rethink how they manage sexual harassment complaints. In recent years, it’s not uncommon to hear of sexual harassment cases being reported in the media. Even media conglomerates have had to face their fair share of scandal. As a company faced with heavy media coverage, along with people coming forward to speak out in the media, it’s no wonder many companies are employing public relations firms, like a public relations company in New York, NY at Goldman McCormick PR, to manage the crisis before them.
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Sexual harassment can have a disastrous impact on not only the reputation of a company, but the person who experienced harassment. Over the years, many sexual harassment cases have gone largely unreported. The #metoo movement has begun to change not only the stance of the employee but the response in which the employer must have to reports of sexual harassment. Many experience disbelief when contending with this form of harassment, as a result, it can be difficult to come to terms with the fact that they have suffered this type of treatment. Sexual harassment should be taken very seriously by companies, not only in their response to complaints but also in how staff are trained and made aware of company policies. Companies struggling to change culture and/or respond appropriately, may find themselves fraught with problems.
Mistakes Often Made by Companies
Although companies have had to revisit and button up their policies surrounding sexual harassment, mistakes are still being made. Common mistakes made by employers may require the counsel of a reputable public relations firm. Unfortunately, amidst the #metoo movement, mistakes are still being made by companies today by:
- Not responding to complaints in a timely manner, if, at all
- Not investigating complaints
- Not providing employees and management with proper sexual harassment trainings
- Failing to discreetly manage complaints or not protecting the confidentiality of employers
- Retaliating against an employee for coming forward
Public relations firms may be able to play a key role in providing companies with a strategic plan when facing sexual harassment claims that have been reported on in the media. In addition, such problems may have a significant internal impact as well. A PR firm can help to manage employees and office culture as well.
Tips When Faced with a Company Crisis
A PR Firm can help a company manage a crisis in several ways. Not only might they implement a strategic plan for managing high profile cases, but also a communication plan for managing the media. Here are some tips for companies facing high profile crises:
- Enlist a public relations firm to manage the crisis immediately, the sooner a company employs their involvement the easier it is for problems to be mitigated
- Leaders must be ready to accept accountability and face the media with ease
- Ensure that people are made aware of the the company’s reputation and positive record or accomplishments
- Companies should be ready to respond to questions clearly and concisely
- A plan should be put in place for issues on social media that are likely to arise
A company will need to take every measure when it comes to managing the crisis they may be faced with, especially those involving sexual harassment. Serious allegations met with no response on the part of the company can have a disastrous impact on a company’s reputation. Public relations firms can provide crisis management to companies in need of salvaging their reputation both internally and in the public eye.