PR crises are likely to occur for many businesses, but your response to it can make all the difference in avoiding further issues. Organizations should make sure that they are prepared to face a PR crisis.
Here are some steps to take to help make the crisis management process more efficient.
1. Take Responsibility for the Crisis
Rather than trying to cover up a PR crisis, take responsibility for it, as covering it up will only make matters worse. Make sure you acknowledge people’s concerns and questions, responding appropriately. One good response is a professional press release, which you can post on social media.
2. Stay Ahead of the Story
If your company is facing a crisis, the best way to go about it is to respond as soon as you can. If a controversy involving your staff and a customer has unfolded, don’t wait to form a strategy to speak out about it. Begin crisis communication, apologizing, or taking other steps immediately.
3. Prepare for Social Media Backlash
One of the worst things a company can do is ignore the possibility of social media backlash. Many smaller businesses do this, particularly ones that don’t frequently use social media. Even if you don’t utilize social media often, customers are likely to make their experience known on it.
4. Stay Human
If your business is facing a crisis, the last thing you should do is remain distant, offering little response beyond “we’ll look into it.” Instead, you should express regret and apologize, and then share how new policies will help prevent future incidents. Acting fast can help you avoid losing your audience’s faith in your brand.
5. Take Action
Apologizing is one thing, but it won’t mean anything if you don’t take steps to make up for what happened. After releasing a public apology, you need to take immediate action to ensure that a repeat incident doesn’t occur. This will help show that you’re moving forward as a company, rather than practicing inaction.
6. Try to Fully Understand the Situation
To get a full picture of the incident, try to get a perspective from all sides. Communicate all necessary details to stakeholders, and never reply with “no comment.” Even if you’re still trying to figure out the situation, communicate the fact that you are rather than releasing a false statement. When you are working on resolving the situation, communicate this as well.
7. Listen to What Your PR Team Has to Say
You may be tempted to react right away, but don’t do so without consulting with your PR team about the best way to communicate. Refrain from commenting, posting, or tweeting prior to conferring with PR experts who can recommend what steps to take.
With these steps in mind, you can avoid facing potential backlash and other issues that may otherwise come out of PR crises. You’ll be able to work with your PR team to determine the best solution and response, keeping you on good terms with your customers and the general public.