5WPR Founder On How Strategic PR Saves the Day

Press Kit

Even the most successful organizations grapple with obstacles. At times, these obstacles can escalate into crises, jeopardizing brand reputation, customer allegiance, and financial solidity.

During these instances of adversity, robust leadership, along with clear and transparent communication are key. Entercrisis PR, serving as both shield and sword, lessening the damage and potentially transforming the crisis into an opportunity for the organization and its reputation.

The importance of strategic PR during crisis situations

A crisis can explode without warning, sparked by a variety of situations like a product withdrawal, an information breach, a damning media exposure, or even a faux pas on social media. In the digital era, information spreads like wildfire, potentially dealing a significant reputational blow before an organization gets a chance to respond. This is where the worth of strategic PR is evident.

Swift action with a calculated response

An equipped crisis PR team operates like a crisis response command center. They foresee possible issues, formulate clear communication strategies in advance, and are ready to act promptly when a crisis situation strikes. This includes generating clear, succinct messaging that directly addresses public worries, owning up when required, and sketching out a plan for remediation.

Forging a narrative

Amid a crisis, an absence of information can be as injurious as the crisis itself. Strategic PR aids organizations in seizing control of the narrative. By proactively circulating their story through press announcements, media briefings, and social media engagement, they can rebut negative narratives and mold public perception. Transparency is crucial – withholding information breeds mistrust and corrodes trust.

Creating trust amid skepticism

Sincerity and transparency are the pillars of restoring trust in the aftermath of a crisis. A strategic PR campaign centers on open communication with all stakeholders, recognizing the gravity of the situation, expressing genuine concern, and outlining the steps being taken to resolve the issue and avert future incidents. Openness nurtures a sense of accountability and showcases a pledge to improve.

Flipping the crisis script

Though inherently negative, a crisis can also harbor an unforeseen opportunity. There are a few ways that strategic PR can help organizations exploit a crisis to effect positive change.

Empathy in practice

Acknowledging the severity of the situation and expressing authentic empathy for those impacted shows that the organization recognizes the repercussions of the crisis and is treating it with gravity.

Actions carry more weight than words – outlining the measures being taken to resolve the issue and avert future incidents. Displaying a commitment to improvement cultivates trust and loyalty.

Spotlighting strengths

Employ the crisis as a launching pad to highlight the organization’s strengths in tackling adversity. Showcase past triumphs in surmounting challenges, underscoring commitment to quality, safety, or ethical practices. This illustrates resilience and reinforces core values. 

Social responsibility under the limelight

If the crisis carries a social influence, use PR to exhibit a commitment to societal good. This could entail partnering with pertinent organizations to tackle the issue, initiating community outreach initiatives, or launching new sustainability drives. Demonstrating social responsibility places the organization as a champion for positive change.

Ronn Torossian founded 5WPR, a leading PR firm

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and Chairman of 5WPR, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America’s most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company’s growth, overseeing more than 275 professionals. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named “PR Agency of the Year” by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world’s most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine’s Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country’s foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations,” which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.

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