After a year of uncertainty and chaos, things have changed for crisis communications and crisis PR, which means public relations experts have to learn more new things to keep up with the new demands. The beginning of a brand new decade saw a world filled with protests, economic uncertainty, and a global pandemic to go song with everything, which has meant plenty of changes in terms of crisis PR.
Some crisis PR professionals have even started suggesting that practically everyone has entered this industry. Although certain things have definitely changed in terms of crisis PR, specifically some strategies and tactics, which means these professionals have to adapt to be better prepared for the new year.
Because 2020 was a very tumultuous year for practically everyone worldwide, PR professionals had to change the way they look at a PR crisis, how they communicate during one, and what the appropriate responses should be.
Plenty of big brands are still facing multiple and overlapping problems, at a global scale, constantly. The situation is only exacerbated by the unimaginable amount of news and information being created and shared online. Furthermore, these brands have had to start differentiating fact from fiction and have had to face misinformation whenever it occurs.
Considering there are several platforms that the public uses, and the ideas they are sharing on those platforms, and the speed at which these ideas are spread, it’s no easy task. We’ve started living through a time when brands have had to act as a real-time resource to shareholders, stakeholders, employees, and consumers and become a credible and trustworthy voice in the crowd that can make sense of all this information overload.
One of the biggest threats to brand reputation for the future and the present is disinformation and all its forms. The downside to this threat is that disinformation can easily spread through false narratives on multiple platforms at very high speeds, which leaves brands scrambling to make sense of the entire situation in the first place.
The best way to combat this fight against disinformation is by having a clear crisis PR strategy and monitoring real-time interactions and conversations online about issues that can have any impact on brands. This, along with a strong crisis PR plan, can allow brands faster cross-functional ability and help them address any potential issues much faster before they turn into a PR crisis.
Unfortunately, this is the one thing that plenty of brands get wrong because they wrongly assume that if they ignore and avoid a problem, it will go away on its own, and the company’s reputation won’t be damaged. However, this is what turns a situation into a crisis because as soon as the brand starts ignoring conversations and doesn’t take control of the narrative, the conversation will develop further without any input from key company leaders in a way that damages the brand’s reputation.
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