How to Successfully Weather a PR Crisis
No one plans for a crisis, but when it does inevitably happen there needs to be a plan in place to get your business through the thick of things. A company that manages a PR crisis successfully will come out of it stronger and more trusted among their competitors. We’ve put together a PR rule-book that can help any business avoid common mistakes made during a publicity crisis. Here are 5 tips to successfully weather a public relations nightmare.
Get The Full Story
Often times companies rush to contain a story but in the process, they forget to gather all the details. A company’s inability to gather all the information leads to confusion and false narratives. It’s important for upper management to keep a level head as a crisis unfolds, any rash decisions can diminish a company’s relationship with the media and the general public. Just think about it this way, it’s hard to put together a puzzle when you only have half of the pieces; in the context of a crisis, it’s very difficult to manage a situation when you haven’t gathered the full story.
During a crisis companies are seen in one of two ways, transparent or secretive; a secretive company will automatically be deemed the villain. Companies need to give people the impression that they are open, honest, and have nothing to hide. In the long term transparency is one of the things people will remember about a company and their crisis.
No one likes a business that passes blame, it’s important to take responsibility for your company’s negligence or wrongdoings so as to avoid a negative image. Some companies have made the mistake of denying accusations and faced public scrutiny; in some cases the accusations were false, but public perception often trumps truth. In order for a business to survive a crisis, they have to take responsibility, the public likes to make sure someone is held accountable.
Manage The Media
During a crisis the media has a responsibility to the public, their job is to collect the truth. Contrary to popular opinion, they’re not out for blood; a company can manage the media by simply being honest and facilitating a meeting ground. Traditional forms of media (TV, Radio, Print) adhere to a code of conduct that may not exist over the internet. Social media is fast moving and some would say ruthless, companies can’t chase down every troll but they can continue to be transparent and honest until the crisis passes.
No crisis is the same but these 3 tips will get you through anything. Whether it may be a product recall or a workers strike, your company should always aim to be fully informed, transparent, and responsible.