This is hard to say, but every company should prepare for the inevitable – public relation crisis. A poorly planned marketing campaign, management scandal, bad online reviews, data breach and just about anything bad for the business can happen any time of the day even to the best company in the world.
What separates successful companies rests majorly on how they go about their public relation management when they are hit with a crisis. Here is a quick one though – you need to organize a PR crisis team and plan way before you need them.
While a crisis may be a surprise – a bad one by the way – you should ensure that the crisis management in PR isn’t. Be prepared way before it happens.
Let’s look into step-by-step approach to handle PR crisis in your organization. Before then, though, what is a PR crisis?
Public relation crisis can be severe, damaging and disruptive. So, A PR crisis is that situation when a person or company is receiving negative, humiliating and damaging comments publicly. And public relations crisis management is how you handle the situation.
You must, however, understand that not every situation is a PR crisis. When you have the following problem, its good you get them resolved as soon as possible in the RIGHT way;
- Product recall
- Office harassment
- Deception and theft
- Frequent customer complaints
- Competitor or industry crisis
How to Deal with A PR Crisis
You must remember that there are three stages of a PR crisis; before, during and after it. While during the crisis, it may seem like forever, don’t be perplexed for it won’t last long. Instead focus more on before and after the crisis, for that’s what determine your business success.
Deal with a PR crisis in the following way:
- Have A Plan
They say that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This is true for every human endeavour, including a PR crisis. You don’t wish the day will come when you will have to deal with a crisis, but it will. The way to win is to plan by having a plan to deal with it in place with a reliable team to help you pull through.
Dealing with a PR crisis is like a student dealing with an assignment, especially in Australia. You don’t wish the assignments will come, but they always do at the end of the day. No wonder smart students make use of Edubirdie assignment provider to help with their papers. Students get to have their assignments done with no hassle and at affordable prices.
- Create A Response Team
Whatever you do during these hard days, never go ahead “defending” the company without consulting your response team. If you do that, you will discover that the matter will turn worse and will have only yourself to blame.
Don’t just have a team, run every plan by them and listen to different opinions. Then ensure you all conclude how best to respond. Remember, in a PR crisis, responding fast isn’t the goal.
- Create and Follow A Detailed Crisis Management Plan
It is not uncommon to have questions and comments from different angles when in a crisis; this is the time to remain calm and positive. You already have a plan and a team in place, now follow the plan to the letter.
Make good use of social media platforms and brand ambassadors, if you have any, here. Carry every important person along and brainstorm on the way forward.
- Have A Template
Yes, you can have a template to use before a crisis occur. While you might not be sure of the exact crisis you will face in the future, you have a holding statement template(s) that guide you on how to respond and answer all questions you might encounter. It’s like being a student and turn to Australian assignment help to reduce a burden and deal with mental pressure.
Don’t also forget to review the statements of the template regularly.
- Communicate and Monitor
Communication is vital everywhere, but closely following is monitoring. Don’t just stay ahead of the news to know what’s trending in the industry, be at alert for when a crisis is looming. This helps you to prepare proactively and minimize the damage.
- Use PR Tools
There are different listening tools as software nowadays that brands are using to listening to what their audience is saying. You should use that too. All you have to do is input a few keywords and listen. When your keywords pop up, you are alerted and can take the necessary steps.
- Use Brand Ambassadors and Influencers
Influencers and brand ambassadors always know what is going on and their page can be used to not only push marketing campaigns and product launches but also for getting your opinion known during a crisis. It is best, however, to study the kind of mess you are facing as that will you know the right influencer to approach.
- Facts Before Speaking
You be a fool and hurt your company if you go ahead to respond to a crisis before getting all your facts correct. While many people are waiting for your answers, it is best not to say anything until you and your team have all the facts.
- Take Responsibility
Everyone comes to love the person that takes responsibility. If you had made a mistake, own up to it and apologize. Be genuine and show that you have learnt from this situation.
- Let the Word Out
After you have all the facts you need, you have consulted with your team and concluded, then it’s time to make your statement. The importance of your honesty, apology, if required and explanation at this point, cannot be overemphasized.
You must show that you are human, after all. And once you do that, people will soon stop talking about your brand.
In the end, what is important in any PR crisis is to understand that it won’t last forever. Your brand won’t be the first or the last to go through a PR crisis, but how you handle it matters.