5 tips for dealing with a crisis from a PR perspective

by | Sep 5, 2018 | Analysis, Public Relations

Every business owner must know what to do when they are in the middle of a public relations crisis. These are the kinds of things that can happen to literally any company at all. In fact, if a company is around long enough, they are almost certainly going to be in the middle of a crisis at some point.

Thus, you need to know what public relations services you need to have—and what you can ask of those services when you are looking for a way to get out of the crisis.

Accept responsibility for the crisis (at least internally)

There is definitely some question about if you should actually accept full responsibility for a crisis that has come along. It tends to depend upon what the actual crisis is. There is a chance that you may end up in a worse situation if you fully embrace the fact that you have done something wrong. That being said, you should perhaps consider taking full advantage of the situation if you feel that people would better appreciate it if you come clean right from the start.

Have people ready for rapid response

You should have some people trained up on getting a response out there when a crisis begins to take shape. These are going to be individuals who are working quickly to get your response out in front of as many eyeballs as possible in the early days of the crisis. It matters because you want to make sure that you do not allow things to settle for too long.

Listen to feedback from others

You need to try to listen to what the public is telling you about what you are doing in your business. In other words, you must ask for the word from the public. You can tell what they are thinking if you literally just ask them what is on their mind. Another way to do this is to check out what people are talking about on social media. The public is never very bashful about sharing their views on what is happening in the world on social media.

The feedback that you receive from the public can be useful for forming a great public relations response. You may even consider interacting with individual who are on social media.

Do not panic

You crisis can be made into something worse if you end up putting an element of panic into the proceedings. As soon as you panic about the situation that you are currently in is the moment when you add fuel to the fire. A lot of people start to flail around when they panic, and this can cause extra issues to come into play that they were not dealing with beforehand.

Many companies and individuals have said and done some pretty crazy things when they were panicking. This is made worse because these days that panic can be spread on social media. Try to remain calm no matter what is going on externally.

Remember that the spotlight is on you

Nothing that you say during a crisis is going to remain in private. This is to say that you need to pay close attention to the way in which you react during the crisis. You are never going to be able to take back the things that you say during the crisis. There is going to be a record of it out there somewhere.

The best thing that you can do is to make sure that you keep all responses clear and concise. Make sure that you are not misunderstood, and take as much time as possible answering questions of those who deserve an answer from you. If you have questions about anything that is going on, then you definitely will want to ask your PR team to see what your next moves should be.

Jeremy Sutter
Jeremy Sutter is a freelance writer and former mobile marketing manager at Adobe.


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