Blog Post By: Kyra Kronberg, Baer Performance Marketing Intern
For any organization, crisis can arise at any time, and with social media, there is no more sitting around, waiting for the problem to go away. It’s important to plan ahead because you never get a second chance to make a first impression. And because bad PR can cause even more damage, taking the following tips into consideration could save a reputation and restore customer trust in the long run.
Anticipate: Build a Plan
Build and sit down with a crisis management team within the organization, including the president or CEO. The assembled team should come up with a list of every potential crisis situation, and in doing that, they will realize that several scenarios are preventable. This also allows potential response communication strategies to surface. It’s better to plan ahead than to be caught trying to come up with solutions under the stress of the crisis. Build a plan, make sure everyone is familiar with it, and revisit the plan often.
Be Proactive with Media
We’ve all seen segments on the news or even movies where representatives will respond to journalists with the famous “No comment.” In the midst of a crisis, however, that is the worst response to give to a reporter. It implies there’s further information within a business or company that’s being withheld, which leads to unwanted assumptions. When a business is proactive, they are actively seeking out the media to either fix the problem or build good publicity. If a journalist shows up, giving a response like, “We’re currently working out details,” or even taking information to reach the reporter once an official statement is composed could allow the crisis-bound company to have control of the chaos.
Take to Social Media
In today’s new public relations era, the quickest way to spread news is through social media, and negative publicity can act as a bomb going off. Being active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. allows companies to view what’s being said about them and act accordingly. Reposting good comments and responding to bad reviews helps uplift the company image. In a crisis situation, social media might seem like something to stay away from, but it can actually be used as an advantage. Just like bad messages, good ones can spread as well. Social media can also help build a loyal following that can come to aid in the future.
Think empathetically. Put yourself in the audience’s shoes. What would they like to see? What message would they want communicated from your organization? Work towards that, and use media as a tool to maintain that image.