How to Manage a Newsworthy Crisis
The management of a PR crisis can make or break the reputation of an organization. When the crisis in question is newsworthy, it is important for the organization to take steps that are efficient and effective in order to avert any lasting consequences. The crucial steps that an organization can take are as follows:
- There should be a leader who can lead the organization out of the crisis. It is crucial that the leader is a person who can be trusted with the responsibility. When a crisis strikes, there will be a number of different parties that will be involved. There will be the organization’s lawyers and the crisis managers urging to get the situation under control. The employees, board members, and shareholders of the organization will likely be anxious and want to be appraised of the situation. A crisis will bring panic and uncertainty with it, and a good leader can help inspire trust and confidence in all the involved parties.
- The organization should suspend all unnecessary tasks and divert its attention and resources to the crisis at hand. Instead of letting crucial employees and people go about their daily tasks, it is important to divert their talents to help manage the crisis. The crisis manager will be one of the people at the forefront, along with the organization’s legal team, social media team, and any other important employee.
- If there is a crisis plan in place, follow the steps of the plan. Most organizations tend to have crisis plans in place. These plans can help save precious time. Since there are guidelines in place, they may only need to be modified to suit the current crisis that is being dealt with . Usually, PR firms formulate the strategies regarding crisis plans, but a crisis manager may also formulate steps that are uniquely suited to the workings of the organization.
- If the organization has a crisis team or uses the services of a PR firm, it is essential that their help is obtained . PR firms are well-versed with crises and how to deal with them. If an organization uses a PR firm, then the firm can help them navigate the crisis and how to effectively deal with the aftermath.
- The leader should assess their role in managing the crisis. If there are tasks that should be delegated to other personnel, they should be urgently delegated. The leader of the organization should be focused on managing only the most essential parts of the crisis. If a task can be delegated to trusted personnel, it should be delegated. Since time is of the essence, the leader should strive to work as efficiently as possible to manage the crisis.
- One of the primary tasks should be to uncover all the relevant facts. If the crisis pertains to illegal activities, then law enforcement or other relevant institutions should be contacted. Social media and news channels should also be monitored.
- A holding statement should be drafted and issued. The leader should take the help of their communications expert, crisis manager, and legal counsel to draft a holding statement that can be issued publicly. The holding statement should neither over-communicate nor under-communicate. There will be facts and speculation floating around – so the statement should take responsibility for the facts and correct any inaccuracies.