Every business, no matter how well-managed it may be, is vulnerable to unexpected PR crises.
Though you might presume these threats to be intangible, they can severely damage your firm’s reputation and have a devastating effect on your revenue and client acquisition.
If you wish to navigate a crisis tactfully, it is best to engage a PR crisis management specialist. Leading PR agencies follow rational strategies to manage the crisis your business may face.
Here’s what you should know about handling a potential PR crisis intelligently, under the guidance of an expert.
Appointing A Highly Responsive Team
When controversy hits your enterprise, it will help if you quickly appoint a responsive team, thus ensuring competent authorities speak on behalf of your firm.
Industry experts suggest that the team includes intelligent in-house professionals and an external PR agency capable of getting the firm out of the crisis.
Leading PR professionals follow a strategic approach to public relations, ensuring no PR crisis blows out of proportion. Check if the team has the right executives to perform the assigned roles, from those collecting the facts to the spokesperson facing the camera.
Devising A Strategy and Briefing the Team
For any PR crisis management effort, having a strategy is a must. It helps the task force to understand their responsibilities and be prepared for an approach, be it proactive or reactive, to tackle the media coverage of the issue.
PR consultants offer analysis and recommendations on PR strategies to help you decide the approach you need to follow to overcome the specific threat. It then needs to be cascaded to all the other stakeholders associated with your business, ensuring all representatives have the same narrative while speaking to the media.
Preparing the Right Response
Once you set up a competent team and collect all the relevant data, you need to decide your organization’s response to address the issue most sensibly.
PR experts can help you with precise messaging; you can devise a transparent response while being open and honest with your sincere public apology. On the other hand, you may want to use their offerings to create compelling content backed by verified facts to create a genuine message in response to the crisis.
Addressing the Right Audience
While all those associated with your business will stick to the same protocol, you need to see that your target customer base receives your message on time.
Leading professionals offer press kit creation and media and press training services, which can help you draft a press release that portrays your message fairly. You may also seek their help to decide the right time to release a statement and speak, thus reaching your target audience and avoiding backtracking from your comments.
They suggest contacting friendly media houses that can break your story to the right audience while setting a tone favorable for your business.
Observing the Situation
When your firm faces a PR crisis, it is essential to ensure your brand image does not degrade among your customers and partners.
Look for potential negative trends online, which could eventually fuel the media coverage going against you. You need to evaluate such situations and stay ahead of the story with real-time alerts.
Experts recommend monitoring your brand reputation and what your competitors have to say about the PR crisis. It will help you locate articles in the search engine results that show your firm in poor light. You can then decide the right mitigation action items to address your customers’ concerns and follow-up questions.
Consulting A PR Expert
A PR crisis is time-critical; a response too sooner or later can make or break your company image.
If your firm is amidst a PR crisis, reach out to an experienced consultant. Rest assured, you will address the issue ethically, at the right time, ensuring your brand reputation does not get compromised at any cost.