PR crises are commonly associated with doom and gloom, and for the most part that reputation is rightly earned. No one likes to be blind-sided by a threat that could damage their brand’s, or perhaps their own reputation.
However, as we heard from the seasoned crisis comms professionals at our Crisis Comms Mastery virtual summit last month, when a crisis is handled well there can be significant positive outcomes.
These upsides generally present themselves as opportunities with the onus still on PR practitioners to identify and take advantage of them using common sense, creativity, and the tools at their disposal, such as a media monitoring solution.
We’ve rounded up five ways you can capitalize on a crisis—coming out of it stronger than before—with the help of media monitoring.
Demonstrate PR’s efficacy
When you’re thrown into a crisis, it’s a little like performing in the spotlight for your leadership team, board of directors, and organization at large. Your actions will be closely watched as your colleagues look to you for guidance. This is the time to demonstrate how well you keep your cool during a turbulent time, and how you perform under pressure to mitigate damage and control the narrative.
How can media monitoring help? Demonstrate your crisis team’s value by keeping your stakeholders up to date during a crisis with media briefings from your monitoring tool. Show how you’re recovering from the situation by building reports in your monitoring solution with metrics related to your brand’s coverage, like volume and sentiment. You can also leverage reports to highlight how the media and public are responding to statements put out by your team.
Forge new media relationships
A crisis can be a foot in the door with larger publications that wouldn’t otherwise cover your brand. If you receive coverage from a sought-after outlet in your industry, even if it’s negative, consider it as a steppingstone to building a relationship with a new media contact. When journalists approach you for comment, work cooperatively with them by being responsive and honest.
How can media monitoring help? Use your media monitoring tool to identify the individuals and outlets reporting on your brand’s crisis. Some solutions even allow you to reach out to them directly from within the tool. Most media monitoring solutions also provide details on the journalist’s reach and past articles they’ve written to help you prioritize who you want to work with.
Video: Media Monitoring & Crisis Management
Increase your PR budget
If your leadership team has been hesitant to increase your comms budget in the past, a crisis may be the opportunity you need to convince them of the value of bringing in additional resources. Be sure to lead with the benefits this will have for your organization in the short-term (dealing with the crisis) and in the long-term (building your brand’s reputation back up, avoiding future crises).
How can media monitoring help? Show the current reactions to the crisis from the press and public by pulling clippings and reports from your monitoring tool. This will make a powerful statement alongside your proposed plans to combat the crisis.
Augment your brand’s authenticity
A crisis response needs to be genuine—anything less will be sniffed out and condemned by traditional and social media. If your brand has struggled with authenticity in the past, this is an opportune time to explain to your leadership team why your brand’s actions need to completely align with its stated values. By handling a crisis quickly and authentically, you’ll be able to connect with your audience effectively and set forth a more honest path for your organization, leading to better PR outcomes in the future.
How can media monitoring help? Social media mentions of your brand during a crisis are a great barometer for how authentic the public perceives you to be. Posts or articles about supposed incongruity, or worse, hypocrisy of your brand should be reviewed carefully to see if the claims have any merit and what actions your brand can take to do better.
Learn from past mistakes
At the very least, every crisis is a learning opportunity. When a brand makes a concerted effort to learn from their past mistakes and do better in the future, it’s oftentimes noted and respected by critics. Additionally, it’s a good idea for crisis teams to look internally at their own handling of the crisis—what went well, what was bumpy, and where could processes have been improved so they’re more effective at dealing with the next crisis.
How can media monitoring help? Keep a close eye on the media coverage your brand receives after you’ve put out a statement responding to the crisis. This will tell you if your efforts fell short of properly addressing the situation and if you need to do more. Don’t be afraid to pull specific quotes from articles, broadcast, or social media showing the public’s reaction to your brand’s actions. Show leadership how your brand is currently being perceived and what needs to be done to avoid similar coverage in the future.
Are you ready to learn more about setting up a robust media monitoring program for crisis management for your brand? Book a media monitoring demo today.