A public relations crisis can happen to every company. News is cycling non-stop, people are online all the time, and your competitors are always vigilant to notice your weakness.
You may find your company in a risky situation either due to external or internal problems. An internal issue can be solved with communication with your team. However, an external PR crisis is more sensitive as it can ruin your reputation. In any way, you must react quickly in order to determine how your company has to respond to this situation. A proper response can reverse the situation immediately. When you have to deal with your audience, which has permanent access to social media tools, ignoring your public relation crisis or public criticism is definitely a poor decision.
Public Relations Crisis Definition
Below, you’ll find a list of common situations, which lead to a company’s PR crisis:
A serious issue making it impossible to provide services/products.
There is a lawsuit against your brand.
Your brand lacks regulatory compliance.
A client/employee has a severe injury.
Employees are dissatisfied and organize a strike.
You face a cyberattack.
Your brand is involved in racism or unacceptable behavior.
How To Respond To a Crisis?
When a problematic situation occurs, you have to respond as fast as possible. Your reaction will set the general tone of your brand and how clients will treat your brand in the future. It is not the time to make a plan of actions. This should have been done before. When you are boiling in the middle of a PR crisis, you must react fast. You have to outline the key principles in order to reduce the chaos within your team. Make all that you can not to lose your clients’ trust.
Stick To The Following PR Crisis Communication Principles:
If you find your brand in a very sensitive situation it is essential to make a proper response to your target audience. If you do not have a plan of action, you will feel extremely overwhelmed. We are going to share the best practices and principles on how to deal with a public relation crisis in order to restore communication with your clients and partners.
Compose a good message: you have to do your best to establish the detailed command structure. Every member of your team has to follow it. It is an efficient way to control communication with clients/partners. All what you say during a crisis will have a huge impact. You should decide which team members have the right to write public comments.
Set the polite and official corporate tone: your team should be in full control over emotions. It is better to be proactive, honest, and compassionate to solve the problem and get back the trust of people. Every public statement you make should be well-scaled.
Use verified facts: it is essential to gather relevant facts and arguments to solve a PR crisis. Verify them before you start communicating with clients and partners. Avoid any kind of speculating the truth.
If you want to have a reputation as a serious organization, you have to respond quickly to any challenging situations. It is easy to lose trust and it takes time to build it again.