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Svetlana Sverchkova, Managing Director of Mainstream Communication & Consulting, shared her opinion on situation at Hromadske TV. How internal conflicts influence the reputation and what to do about it.

27.01.2016

The conflict inside NGO Hromadske TV may affect negatively the confidence of audience and donors, causing the outflow of both the former and the latter. Svetlana Sverchkova, Managing Director in Mainstream Communication & Consulting, shared with the newspaper BUSINESS her opinion on the situation: whether the reputation losses of Hromadske TV would outweigh the benefit pursued in the conflict.

When conflict is nothing and image – everything

From the viewpoint of reputation risks and losses, the conflict around Hromadske TV harms the brand reputation for sure. Here, we deal with the problem of startup development and actual dependence on one person, and this is always risky for business. In this case, the conflict may negatively affect the confidence of audience and even reduce it considerably. Public reporting of internal problems will lead to certain outflow of donors, which have been financing the TV-channel until now.

It depends on the conflict duration, whether the benefit will outweigh the reputation losses in this conflict. If participants descend to personalities more and more, this will eventually destroy the TV-channel achievements. If one wants to develop, it is necessary to negotiate.

Whose information campaign is stronger

The conflict spread mainly through Facebook. Currently, the channels position is weaker, as it provided neither proves, nor sound arguments of “Mr Skrypin’s guilt”. According to his latest statements, he was ready to transfer everything he declared to the channel representative but ostensibly, it was the channel that did not undertake anything. At least, it appears so to onlookers.

Nowadays, the public support distributed 50/50. I think, in case of correct behaviour, the channel might gain more support. This is about not descending to personalities, using facts only and making public some proofs if necessary. There are certain rules of doing business, which are clear for everyone. In our country, risks minimisation is one of its key components. From the viewpoint of business, this is what the channel is trying to do – to minimise risks.

How to save the face

A successful and desirable step in this situation would be presentation of the Hromadske development strategy. During the presentation, it will be possible to tell what exactly is done in the organisational aspect for its fulfilment. It may be held in a format of official event, which would gather the collective, the Supervisory Board of the TV-channel as well as its admirers, donors, and Ukrainian prominent figures. Currently, Hromadske undergoes a rather painful and lengthy stage of transition from startup to a corporate project. This procedure is necessary but it is necessary to prepare, in the first place, the channel audience, supporters in Ukraine and abroad to it. It is necessary to inform in advance, “We are going through such procedure now”. It is necessary to explain. This is necessary for the channel to develop further and implement interesting projects.