Crisis Management is something that most businesses, big or small need to prepare for but not enough do, I see this all the time when handling crisis for my own clients. We see what happens time and time again to major corporations when they do not handle a PR crisis effectively and small businesses have struggled to cope with the negative backlash of ineffective communications during a PR crisis, the long term impact on their reputations can last for years, in fact in the digital era a crisis is rarely forgotten.
In this video I give you some guidelines on how to deal with a PR Crisis and manage your reputation if you experience a very public media fallout. Hopefully this is something that you will never have to experience in your own business but just in case this video should contain some very useful tips.
Also remember that apologies are key to any crisis. When apologising for any kind of wrongdoing make sure that take responsibility, make sure that you are sincere (show genuine remorse or don’t bother apologising) and actively address what you will do to improve and do better in the future.
The following infographic provides further context to this video with 4 Essential Pillars of Crisis Management:
- Monitoring – Assess everything that is being said offline and online about the brand. Social listening is essential.
- Proactivity – Be ready to engage and do not wait for a crisis to happen to prepare for one. preparation is key, no business wants to experience a PR crisis but like many things in life you need to plan for unforeseen circumstances, call it “Reputation Insurance”. Make sure you identify who in your team will address the situation and ensure they have the training from a credible expert, have a list of experts ready to call if you do not have an in house PR team. This means that when a crisis does happen your business brand won’t be scrambling for ways to stay afloat.
- Action – Be responsive and available. Apologies go to disappointed customers & clients if your investigations highlight that you are at fault – an apology can be drafted as a statement, via video or as face-to-face but apologise. You can also use any media attention as an opportunity to apologise. Now just to be clear there may be instances where you have been wrongly accused of something; this is where you might want to consider legal services. However I would recommend that you can still apologise to your other customers for any distressed caused by the crisis even if you are not at fault. Showing a duty of care is important but above and beyond all of this ensure you take action and steps to improve for the future – you can always learn from these situations.
- Learning – Learn from the mistakes and improve. Invite the customers back to your organisation to discuss the issue or respond to their complaints via email, pay attention and respect them and LISTEN!
Use these pillars as a guide the next time you’re faced with a crisis in your business or team.
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