Ways to handle a PR crisis
A PR crisis can happen at any time. A well-managed company can face a PR crisis, it is inevitable. It is a nightmare and can be very harmful for the reputation of an organization. If it is not handled properly, it can have long-lasting effects. A business might have to deal with a crisis at some point and it always requires special attention. Given below are tips on how to handle a PR crisis.
In the age of social media, the slightest misstep can go viral. It is important to be prepared to deal with a crisis even before it happens. An organization should always have a crisis response strategy in place. There should be a response team so that a company can ensure that it has the right people to speak on its behalf. Having one voice is important even if multiple people are speaking on its behalf. The team should have both in-house professionals and external experts.
Frame a response
When the response team has gathered all the information about the crisi, they should all get together to create a response. The response should state what a company wants to do about a crisis and it should not attempt to put the blame on anyone. A company should try to take responsibility for whatever has happened and not try to cover anything up. It is important to be honest with the audience and apologize. If an organization admits its mistake, minimum damage will be done to its reputation. There should be answers to questions and there should also be a press release that would make clear that such a crisis will not happen again. All responses should be thoughtful and not accusatory. Using ‘no comment’ hints at culpability and should be avoided. A premature response can also cause damage to the reputation of an organization.
Keep track of the situation
As far as partners and customers of an organization are concerned, any communication should be characterized by extreme caution and care. All inbound and outbound communications should be monitored. Deleting negative comments will not help as that might have a negative impact on the organization’s reputation. There should be monitoring systems that would keep track of what is being said about the organization online. If there is a lot of social media backlash, it is better to be polite. Things should not be taken personally. It is better not to make things up for an answer.
The final plan of action
A crisis should always be followed by a review. There should be discussions about what could have been done differently. There should also be discussions about which parts of the plan did not work out and could have been done differently. It might also become apparent after the crisis that members of the response team need additional training and need to change roles. The team might also need new members.