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4 critical steps for taking control during a PR crisis

by | Jan 20, 2023 | Public Relations

Companies have to take control throughout a public relations crisis situation to prevent it from developing into something extremely negative. To do that, there are a few things that every business needs to do to be able to handle any sort of PR crisis.

Responsibility

The first thing that any company needs to do when a crisis situation happens is for the business to take responsibility and accountability for whatever situation occurred. The company shouldn’t try to ignore or cover the situation up and should be responsible and take accountability for it. If a company ends up being caught in an attempt to cover things up, or blatantly ignoring some sort of issue, it can make the business look guilty, and cause more damage, even if the company had no involvement in the situation. That’s why the first thing that every company needs to do is to take responsibility and accountability by sharing a press release, or a brief response that will take control of the situation, and start answering the questions and concerns of the public.

Narrative

The next step that every company will have to take during a crisis is making sure that the company gets the first word and gets the story out about what truly happened. It’s very easy and today’s news cycle for a situation to escalate if a company allows the general public or media outlets to interpret a situation on their own, and start making assumptions. Before anything gets out of control, companies will have to be proactive and create a message that will help the company take control of the narrative, before the business can release a detailed response to the situation.

Assessment

Once the company has released its initial response, it’s time to analyze what really happened, while utilizing social listening and media monitoring tools, so that the company can get a better understanding of the crisis at hand. This will allow the company to get more information regarding what truly happened that resulted in the crisis, as well as understand what media outlets and the general public are saying about the situation. This way, the company will be able to provide precise facts and information regarding the crisis, as well as take control of any potential disinformation that’s being shared with the public due to speculation or questioning.

Action

Finally, in order for a company to minimize the damage to its reputation during a crisis, once a company has analyzed the crisis situation, it’s important to create a response that will show that the company has a complete understanding of the situation, and not just impulsively reacting to it. That means apologizing for any mistakes that the company might have made, and explaining how the company will move forward to avoid making the same mistake in the future.

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Mike Paffmann
Mike Paffmann is CEO of Virgo-PR.

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