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How PR support saves brands in a crisis: Strategies for all stakeholders

by | May 8, 2024 | Public Relations

In an era of constant connection, the reputation of a brand can be as delicate as porcelain. An unfortunate step, faulty product, or unhappy customer with significant social media influence can ignite a public relations disaster, producing tremors that may reverberate throughout the company and inflict permanent damage.

This is when the support of a crisis PR team becomes invaluable, serving as both a defensive and offensive tool to assist brands in traversing these stormy seas.

Fast response

Crisis scenarios rarely develop in an elegant way. More often than not, they erupt with little warning, calling for a prompt and resolute reaction. PR experts are skilled in managing such situations.

They leap into action, assess the predicament with calmness, and determine the most effective plan of action. The race against the clock is crucial, as the promptness of the response can greatly influence the end result.

In the era of unending news cycles and viral social media posts, a crisis narrative can harden quickly. PR teams grasp this reality and strive to stay ahead of the unfolding story. This means digging deep to understand the roots of the crisis. Equipped with facts, they can then shape a succinct and clear message to address public concerns.

Honesty, in this case, cannot be overstated. Concealing details or issuing deceptive statements will only undermine trust and provoke speculation.

Creating a crisis communication strategy

A generic approach has no place in crisis communication. PR teams devise a multi-pronged strategy that caters to the various audiences a brand must address.

Consumers

As the brand’s lifeline, it’s vital to renew their faith during a crisis. PR teams formulate messages that recognize their anxieties, explain the situation, and detail measures being taken to resolve the problem. This could involve press releases, social media posts, or even targeted email campaigns.

Media

Reporters are instrumental in forming public perceptions. PR teams liaise with the press to supply accurate data and ensure an even-handed narrative is broadcast. This might involve press meet-ups, briefings, or supplying media kits packed with pertinent information.

Investors

A crisis can adversely affect a company’s stock price. PR teams keep investors updated about the situation, including potential financial implications and the recovery plan. This could involve conference calls, investor updates, or regulatory filings with clear explanations of how the crisis is being managed.

Employees

Internal communication is just as crucial as communicating externally. Employees often act as brand advocates, and their morale can be severely impacted during a crisis. PR teams ensure employees stay updated on the progress, comprehend the company’s crisis response, and are equipped to handle customer inquiries efficiently.

Building trust through transparency

In a crisis, there’s often a strong impulse to minimize the issue or shift blame. But these strategies rarely work. PR professionals realize that truthfulness is the best approach. They recommend brands to be open about the situation, accept any missteps, and fully commit to rectifying the problem.

This displays accountability and signals to the public that the brand earnestly intends to regain their trust. An authentic apology can help alleviate anger and frustration. PR teams can assist in formulating an apology that delivers genuine regret, detailed measures being undertaken to resolve the issue and offers assurance that such an incident won’t recur.

Ronn Torossian
Ronn Torossian founded 5WPR, a leading PR agency..

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