What to Do When a PR Crisis Hits
Mistakes do happen they can be small or major. When they happen it is best to be upfront about them. Companies can create a good PR experience, by handling in the right way. When it is a minor mistake it can be resolved by sending out an apology through an email or other notice to your customers and major clients – letting them know how you are resolving the issue.
Major issues can go public through Social Media or the News. The best thing for a company from a PR a perspective is total transparency about the issue. Let the public know how the mistake is being resolved. A company who has been around longer and has built existing trust and strong ties with their customer base, will find it easier to rebuild trust than what a new company might. That’s a good reason to start your crisis PR efforts long before any crisis hits. You do that by building an honest and friendly relationship with customers, whether that is face-to-face or through social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
But before you send out any statements for public consumption, meet with company heads as well as those who deal directly with the public via phone, walk-ins, or online. If you’ve already got a good plan in place for Crisis management, it allows everyone to be aware of how to respond, and immediate action can begin to happen.
Address the Mistake Head-on
It is critical not to cover up or minimize any mistakes or problems when informing, apologizing, and updating. Put a plan together quickly on how the matter is going to be addressed by your company, and inform the public how your company is going to fix any problems.
If the problem causing the crisis means people are displaced, or waiting anxiously for updates, as might happen if a plane goes missing, or natural disaster happens and impacts where you do business – provide a place or items to make people as comfortable as possible, give them a liaison person they can go to with questions or concerns, and provide frequent updates, even if nothing has changed – just hearing you are still working on it brings a measure of comfort and reassurance.