Different PR pros hold different predictions regarding anticipated trends in 2020’s crisis communication. Some anticipate a rise in crisis preparedness, while others predict a rise in ethics in crisis management for various reasons.
With the 2020 elections set to raise the need for crisis PR, crisis communicators will need to cut through the noise to offer brands suitable solutions. As such, this post highlights some of the PR pro’s predictions on crisis and ethics in PR.
What you will learn...
Here are several predictions on crisis preparedness from some PR pros.
#1. Gene Grabowski on Crisis and Regulation
According to Gene Grabowski, partner Kglobal, crisis management teams will see a jump in business in 2020.
Federal and state regulatory bodies will enforce legacy regulations and introduce new regulations to meet existing challenges. At the same time, vocal activists and consumer groups are increasingly concerned with reducing risks and controlling corporations.
Agencies like the United States Department of Agriculture, FDA, the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Transportation and Consumer Product Safety Commission will crack the whip on companies whose products pose risks to consumers. For the industries in sleepwear, processed foods and meat, and drugs, there will be casualties.
This implies that, for the first time, more companies will establish crisis management plans. To avert regulation-related crises – that may come with new regulations and strict enforcement of previously introduced laws – more companies will be receptive to crisis PR.
#2. Esther-Mireya Tejeda on Crisis Growth and Reputation
Tejeda, SVP, Head of Corporate, Communications & PR, Entercom, points out that reputation management and crisis communication will increasingly become key areas of expertise in companies. At the same time, inhouse roles dedicated to the management of corporate reputations will form key components of communication teams.
Thanks to social media, global brands continue to experience tremendous disruptions as seemingly inert events turn into notable crises. With social media driving events that can sully reputations, there’s set to be a cultural shift towards social media activism or the cancel culture. Through hashtag campaigns, powered by social media, activists can easily push for product boycotts for companies that go against consumer values.
That said, crisis management teams will increasingly take on the task of culture testing and gatekeeping to protect their brand’s reputation in 2020. Crisis management teams will also play a key role in keeping brands in line with their mission statements and consumer expectations.
Ethics in Crisis Management in 2020
#1. Neil Foote on PR messaging during elections
The President of Natl Black PR Society Neil Foote predicts 2020 to be a bumpy year in the PR space. With a cacophony of politically-rooted headlines, brands will struggle to have their messages heard during the upcoming contentious and divisive political period.
That said, PR pros will have to come up with fine-tuned strategies that will reach the audience in creative and more engaging ways. Specifically, PR teams will increasingly rely on smart social media strategies, where stills combined with videos create compelling narratives. This will be an important strategy in getting above the political noise and engaging audiences that will be looking for relief from the charged political rhetoric.