Essential Strategies for Crisis PR
Having a PR crisis management plan in place beforehand is essential for companies to easily be able to navigate any sort of negative situation that might damage their public reputation. However, aside from the PR crisis management plan, it’s essential for companies to also know how to best react when the PR crisis actually happens.
Not every negative comment on social media platforms about the company means that the company is going through a PR crisis. However, that also doesn’t mean that the company should completely ignore any negative feedback. Any sort of negative situation or comment requires the company to think about the impact that the situation is going to have on the overall brand reputation, business operations, and the performance of the company. Some issues can easily go away on their own, and reacting to the occasional negative customer feedback can only lead to the target audience focusing on that particular issue from the company.
Once a company has identified that a specific situation is developing into a PR crisis, it’s important to act fast, because time is of the essence. The faster that a company is able to address the situation publicly, the easier it’s going to be for the company to take control of the narrative and minimize reputational damage. In this 24-hour news cycle, most people expect to receive a response as soon as possible, which is why companies can prepare some generic statements that they can immediately distribute to the public while getting more information about what happened behind the scenes.
Before a PR crisis happens, companies will need to prepare their employees so that everyone knows what to do during the crisis situation. That means defining the responsibilities of each team member and creating a rulebook of what everyone should be doing throughout the crisis. That way, only the people that are in charge of creating and distributing the company’s response will do so, without potentially sharing any disinformation with the public by a team member that wasn’t aware of the chain of command.
Companies that have created a PR crisis management plan beforehand understand that this plan should be created by public relations professionals. The same team of people should evaluate the crisis situation so that the company can respond accordingly. Every PR crisis is going to be different, which means the company has to take a different approach, and create a different response. That’s why it’s important for the situation to first be analyzed so that a team of professionals will be able to select the right response and start working to counteract the potentially negative effects on the company’s reputation from that situation. Finally, when the company is ready to make an accurate statement regarding the crisis, it’s important to be transparent, and honest, take accountability, and share what the company will be doing to avoid making the same mistakes in the future￼.