An organization that is dealing with a PR crisis should always be working with a PR agency which specializes in dealing with such situations. An agency is perfectly equipped to deal with a PR crisis as it is an establishment outside of the organization, therefore there is no need for any of their representatives to be careful of any internal relationships that could end up getting damaged during a crisis.
With a PR crisis, there are usually three main stages, including the time before the crisis, during the crisis, and of course, what happens after the crisis. Most of the time, an organization is usually in the first or the third stage. Unfortunately, whenever a brand finds itself in that second stage, it feels like an eternity and that there is no possible end in sight.
However, there are several steps which all brands and corporations can take to ensure that a PR crisis is properly dealt with. All of these steps include those three stages.
Brands and corporations should always keep in mind potential scenarios to avoid any additional stress or confusion during a PR crisis. During a crisis, time is a crucial element for dealing with any situation.
Have a Crisis Response Team
Most of the time, when people hear about a PR crisis that is being terribly handled, it is usually due to one of its leaders not following the plan that was previously mentioned. This is why it is important to have a previously established crisis response team that will be in charge of everything should a PR crisis happen.
Templates for Statements
The crisis response team can prepare for various scenarios, should they arise at any point in the future. Some of that preparation includes having previously approved messages and statements that will be reviewed and updated frequently which can be used during a crisis, instead of coming up with something to say on the spot and causing an even bigger crisis.
There are many early warning signs that point to possible public relations issues for brands, however, the right people need to be listening to them. It is important for brands to monitor social channels to be able to catch any negative trends and respond before a situation can develop into a crisis. Furthermore, monitoring any feedback during a time of crisis is crucial for editing and modifying the response strategy.
Gather Facts, Accept Responsibility, Apologize
Finally, it’s important to always be speaking honestly and remaining calm during a PR crisis. There’s no need to make a statement before all of the information and facts are gathered, as speculating can only make things worse. Once all the facts are in place, it’s important for the brand spokesperson to acknowledge the mistake that’s been made, apologize as well as take responsibility for the mistake. Finally, remember that apologies should always be genuine and honest.