Facing a public relations crisis is inevitable for any business. The way you respond can either enhance your image or harm your brand, potentially alienating your customers and partners. In today’s world, where news spreads rapidly, organizations must quickly and efficiently address any PR crisis across multiple platforms. We offer media expert insights on crisis management in PR.
Best Media Crisis Lessons from Experts
#1 Be responsible
To start, avoid attempting to conceal the PR crisis as doing so will only escalate the harm. Instead, effectively handle the situation by assuming responsibility, promptly responding, and addressing feedback. Rather than engaging in public argumentation, acknowledge people’s concerns and questions, and actively engage in relevant conversations. Craft a press release and share it on social media to take control of the situation and ensure the message reaches a wider audience.
#2 Show Humanity
Stating “you’ll investigate it” does little to provide comfort. Expressing genuine sorrow for the situation and committing to improving it is crucial. Take immediate action by outlining the implementation of new policies to prevent future occurrences. Be prompted in your response to avoid eroding trust in your brand. If you have proactive crisis planning, you can send an explanation of the situation to all your partners via fax app IOS. You just need to download the iOS application and the fax will be on your phone. You can send out a newsletter with changes, explanations, apologies, etc.
#3 Don’t Lose Your Cool
During a PR crisis, it is crucial not to let your emotions get the best of you. Experts suggest refraining from responding harshly or blaming the other party, even if they have made completely false claims about your company. Instead, it is important to approach the situation logically and put your feelings aside.
#4 Assess the Situation
It is crucial to examine how your brand is perceived by consumers post a PR crisis. Monitoring incoming and outgoing interactions to address follow-up questions or concerns is a must. Evaluate the management’s and your staff’s approach to the incident, identify shortcomings, and make necessary changes to prevent a recurrence. Additionally, focus on rebuilding your credibility following the incident by emphasizing positive aspects of your brand. Interacting with customers and business partners requires utmost care and attention. Ensure to monitor online conversations concerning your company. According to a study conducted by Moz, even a single negative post on the first page of SERPs can lead to a 22% customer loss.
#5 Listen to Your Team
Being reactive, especially when your company’s brand and reputation are at stake, is a common mistake. Before commenting, posting, or tweeting, it is crucial to consult with your PR team to determine the best and most reasoned approach. If you have a great team (which you should!), they will be proactive and provide you with prepared language to use immediately.
#6 Look for Influencers
To protect your business’s reputation, it is crucial to engage advocates who can defend your services, products, and brand. That’s why it’s important to collaborate with appropriate influencers who can sway public opinion in favor of your brand during and after a crisis. Remember, the success of your campaign depends on selecting the most qualified influencer. You should also thoroughly evaluate each potential candidate, considering the type of content they share, how people interact with their posts, and the social media channels they use. Use this information to choose the most suitable influencer for promoting your brand.
#7 Develop a Strong Organizational Brand Culture
To avoid a crisis, it is common to assign fault to frontline employees for the recurring viral nightmares, but they are not accountable for the toxic brand culture that fosters them. A brand culture that mistreats customers is likely to mistreat its employees as well. By thoroughly examining the organizational culture and service delivery, it becomes evident that new lows in brand experience always originate from the top.
#8 Train Your Employees
Efficient crisis communication requires a well-defined protocol. Each member of the response team should be aware of their responsibilities and whether they should take a reactive or proactive approach when dealing with the media during emergencies.
Regardless of the chosen public relations strategy, it is crucial to inform all potential spokespeople about the protocol they should follow when speaking about the matter. Key stakeholders, employees, and board members need to know who will address the press and where questions should be directed.
Experiencing a public relations nightmare is something nobody wants. However, mishaps can occur in the business world. To shield your firm from the damaging effects of such incidents, it’s important to engage in crisis management for PR. This allows for a smoother transition during difficult times.