BnB Sure/Zurich - containment cover
and with the click of a button, while the window of opportunity for interdicting an escalating problem is diminishing rapidly,” says Powell. Ascent Underwriting Managers have a product extension called Goodwill Protection that covers the costs of mitigation in the wake of a threat to brand or reputation. “We have had the extension for a little over two and a half years now and we see it becoming more and more necessary in this age of unverified digital information,” says Paul Halley, managing director of Ascent. The extension covers the approved costs of launching counter-active multimedia campaigns, promotional campaigns, or in more extreme cases, the costs of formally approaching Google, Facebook, or TripAdvisor through the necessary legal channels to have certain comments removed. “The concern and the risk with multimedia is that it’s not conventional journalism, so there’s nobody who’s editing or verifying the details. I think at best the filters on most of these platforms would be around bad language or issues around racism. “But there’s no verification of the integrity or the accuracy of the statement. So fundamentally anybody can go and write anything and influence the perceptions of anyone who reads it, and it could be based on no facts at all,” adds Halley.
Products like containment cover and goodwill protection, while absolutely necessary, should still only be a risk manager’s last port of call. “First of all, make sure that there is good expectation management within the organisation and that the brand promise is being fulfilled while equally being aware of potential issues in real time,” advises Halley. “For example, if a complaint is lodged, handling it sensitively and correctly at the time would obviate any need for a guest to put their poor experience online.” “Guest expectations are fundamental to reputation management and should be managed from the outset – before the first contact if possible,” says Powell. “After-the-fact reputation management is not really reputation management at all. It is damage control, and it’s severely limited in the digital age.” A brand’s promise needs to be supported all the way through an organisation, otherwise the reputation risks damage as opposed to being enhanced. “By far the easiest way to avoid negative reviews is by not promising something that cannot be delivered, and by making every effort to deliver what has been promised, on time and within budget,” adds Powell.
Have a plan
Halley, Powell, Muller and Mizen are unanimous in their agreement that a comprehensive social media content strategy is essential to reputation or public risk management for not only the insured, but insurers as well. According to Intertel, reputation management involves actively monitoring, constantly assessing, and positively influencing the reputation of a business (or a brand) or person. So essentially it covers reputation building, reputation monitoring, and reputation recovery. “I think the best thing to do is have a cohesive media and multimedia marketing strategy where they are ensuring that they are present on these platforms, that they are monitoring these platforms, and that they are capable of “A guest at an establishment had goods stolen from his room. He was insured elsewhere, so we initially rejected the claim. He then had a shortfall and some items were not covered. As a result, he turned to TripAdvisor to complain and only removed the post after payments were made. This is a prime example where not only is the insured’s reputation at stake but also the insurer’s. Often, in these particular cases, the establishment is underinsured,
or a specific incident is not covered, placing the insurer in a
comprising position. Yes, due process was followed, but at the same time the brand itself has the potential to be
tarnished.” responding positively or negatively to comments posted on these platforms,” says Halley. “Leveraging current and emerging technologies to create a strong online presence with recognisable branding will not only encourage public participation and engagement, but will facilitate positive commentary, improve service delivery, and inform product development,” says Powell.