Crisis Management in PR: 5 Steps to Follow
Public relations experts specializing in crisis management all agree that it is one of the most pivotal aspects of PR.
What’s PR without crisis management? It’s like going out in the rain without an umbrella. Do you think that’s slightly corny? It may be cornier when your team is unable to deliver a brilliant strategy in response to an unplanned crisis which can trigger a negative public perception of your brand.
Managing a crisis effectively can be done with an expert public relations team or with a few valuable tips we will share with you here.
Follow these steps to come out victorious and unscathed after every minor or major crisis your company may experience:
Be aware of what you regard as a “crisis”
Knowing what a crisis is, is what you should, first of all, be concerned with. Not every negative comment on social media is a crisis that requires immediate attention.
Your crisis management team will burn out far more quickly than you’d imagine when you are invested in every single negative feedback you receive.
A bad review of your app is not necessarily a crisis. Similarly, a tweet by a dissatisfied customer shouldn’t have you losing sleep trying to respond.
What then is a crisis?
Public relations experts describe a crisis as “an unexpected event that negatively impacts a company’s reputation or operations.”
The keyword here is a threat to your brand’s reputation and nothing else. Certainly, not all negative reviews of your company on social media are a threat to your business operations or reputation.
But when you do notice an underground issue that has become a full-blown crisis in the public space, you should hit your team up and start strategizing.
Have a team in place
It can’t be overstated that creating a crisis response team beforehand is vital to the stability of your company. A good response team understands the severity of a crisis and its potential effects on the company’s reputation.
Usually, your team is made up of internal top staff trained in public relations (for example, your Director of Communications) and external journalists who can put forward expert opinions.
Keep everyone in the loop
Everyone who has a role to play on the team must be aware of their responsibilities. No one should be kept in the dark about the next line of action.
Relay the appropriate information to stakeholders, board members and general employees.
Devise the best messaging approach
This is necessary because not all crises require a direct, quick and honest response. In some cases, it makes more sense to own up, come out clean to the public and issue an apology or a press release.
However, you also have to tread carefully so that you don’t issue a statement that attracts more attention than the problem itself because this will inevitably contribute to a negative brand reputation which you were trying to avoid in the first place.
This is where experts come in. They are adept at ascertaining the best messaging approach to any given situation.
Establish the major players
This is as important as every other step. You can’t achieve an effective crisis communication strategy without establishing who the key players are and their relevance to the issue.
The media, your clients or customers, business partners, employees and stakeholders are the key players when it comes to crisis management. They deserve your utmost attention as you map out your strategy.
Be timely in sending out a statement to the press or reach out to trusted contacts in the media to cover your story in the most balanced and fair way possible.
A bonus tip
You can always seek competent help at whatever point you realize that you may need assistance. As an integrated media and marketing consulting agency, Detail and Avedia’s expertise in public relations is not in question.
Crisis management is one of the core aspects of public relations that we possess the requisite skills in. Contact us if you’d like to tell your story better before, during or after a crisis.