Your Crisis Needs Management
Use these 10 public relations rules to handle your crisis. Here is a basic guideline and techniques for effective crisis management through the use of public relations.
Any company will encounter a public relations crisis at some time, and how you handle it may either provide you with a much-needed image lift or significantly harm your brand, alienating your customers and business partners. Organizations must be prepared to respond to any PR issue swiftly and efficiently, utilizing all available channels, especially in this day and age, when news spreads virtually immediately. So, if you don’t want to end up on a list of worst PR nightmares or risk losing business due to a crisis that could simply be avoided, follow these 10 guidelines for crisis management:
- Take full accountability and be in charge: First and foremost, do not attempt to conceal the PR disaster; this will only exacerbate the problem. Instead, take control of the issue by accepting responsibility, acting quickly, and listening to comments. Rather than debating in front of others, accept their worries and queries and reply with the appropriate dialogue. To keep control of the issue and get the message out, write a press release and put it on social media. Take it step-by-step and do your best to lessen the damage.
- Be proactive and responsible: Reputation management is more important than ever in today’s real-time world of social media, with critics everywhere, and it can be lost in an instant. Being proactive, honest, and responsible are the tenets of any crisis communication strategy. When put into practice, it looks like this: admit the situation, take responsibility, and apologize.
- Prepare for a backlash on social media: Ignoring the threat of a social media firestorm is the worst thing a company can do. Smaller businesses, particularly those that aren’t engaged on social media, might be particularly guilty of this. Just because a corporation isn’t selling on social media doesn’t imply that when anything goes wrong, its consumers won’t hold them accountable on those sites.
- Apology comes first: Moving forward requires extending a meaningful apology. Not doing so adds gasoline to the fire and prolongs the story’s evolution. After apologizing publicly, the corporation must issue a call to action. They must take concrete steps to demonstrate that they are altering their methods in the future.
- Keep an eye on things, make plans, and communicate with others: Put your social media staff on high alert, with monitoring at the top of their priority list. Use an already well-practiced crisis plan to proactively respond on social media with prepared materials if they notice spikes in negativity or increased activity. Allowing CEOs to go rogue and perhaps stoke the fire is never a good idea, but encouraging them to apologize as soon as possible.
- Pour water, not gasoline: The most important rule in dealing with a crisis is to pour water on the crisis and not gasoline on the conflagration. Take a step back and think about how you would feel if something occurred to you. When dealing with crisis circumstances, looking in the mirror is the best PR advice. It guarantees that we act in the most ethical manner possible. Every time, the right beats whirl.
- First and foremost, try to comprehend the situation: All essential facts should be communicated to important stakeholders. Never say “no comment” when asked to remark. Simply state it, even if you’re still considering the matter. People presume culpability or develop their own assumptions if you don’t have a say in the situation. Recognize when operational improvements are required, and be open about how you’re dealing with the problem.
- First, pay attention to your team: It’s all too simple to respond when your company’s brand and reputation are on the line. Don’t make a comment, post, or tweet until you’ve discussed the best, most rational approach with your PR staff. If you have a terrific idea, which you certainly should!, they’ll be on top of it and have carefully designed language ready to be utilized right away.
- Be Prepared, always: No one likes to be at the center of a scandal, but hurrying to deal with it because you’re unprepared makes things worse. Prepare for probable crisis scenarios by developing internal processes for dealing with them. Outline who needs to be contacted, your internal review procedure, and who is permitted to speak publicly on your behalf before a crisis occurs.
- Evaluate your crisis PR strategy: Finally, when the crisis has subsided, it’s critical to undertake an after-action analysis. Examine how successfully the workers and management responded to the issue. Discuss what may have been done better and what adjustments need to be made to improve the effectiveness of your crisis response in the future.