In the previous post we covered how to react to a PR crisis in the short-term, and while the first 48 hours are crucial in shaping public opinion following a mistake, acting in the long-term is just as important. “For our purposes we’re going to call the span of time after the public apology and press conference “the probationary period”.” “This can be one of the most trying times of a person’s life.” Often jokes will be made in the media at their expense, perhaps even new words or phrases will be coined after the incident. This is simply an unpleasant step to regaining one’s reputation; you have to let them laugh at you before they will laugh with you. Aside from this it is a good idea to stay out of the media and away from public scrutiny as much as possible. This can be an ideal time to make amends with any estranged family and friends if their trust was violated by the mistake in question. The amount of time required to regain public trust and admiration varies by person and the severity of the mistake, often taking years of humility. One of the most effective tools to shorten that time however is doing good works. Community service, philanthropy, and public speaking for a cause are just a few examples. “President Clinton is a prime example of this strategy.” He was almost universally ridiculed when he left office but through good works and staying out of trouble his reputation is arguably stronger than it was before his indiscretions. It may not always be possible to regain your reputation after a PR disaster and it certainly won’t be easy, but by following the advice given here you might have a fighting chance.