Is a PR crisis looming in your business? Here’s what to do.
When your brand’s reputation is at risk, it can be a precarious time. Your reputation dictates how customers see your business and interact with it. A poor reputation will damage customer retention and acquisition, while a good reputation will see more customers coming through the door, and sticking around.
If you think a PR crisis might be looming, your first instinct might be to freak out. While this is a common natural response, it is not very productive. Experiencing a PR crisis doesn’t mean your business is toast, however the way you deal with it can make or break your reputation.
Here’s how to manage the situation:
- Be prepared
The first step to managing a looming PR crisis is to have a crisis plan in place. This is a set of guidelines that can be referred to when a crisis might be looming which identifies potential issues and how to mitigate them. Being prepared can mean that you nip the issue in the bud before it actually becomes a crisis.
- Expect the worst
The current digital landscape means that a PR crisis today is vastly different to what it used to be. While social media has a fantastic ability to connect people from all over the world, it also has the ability to make something go viral – very quickly. A tweet or humble facebook post has the potential to reach millions of people within a matter of seconds. While this can be fantastic for building awareness for your brand, it can also act as the gasoline on the fire when there’s a problem. With this in mind, it’s important to be careful with the way you communicate online and with the media. Remember everything you do and say can either add fuel to the fire or diffuse it.
- Keep calm
The best thing to do when a PR crisis is looming is to remain calm. Take the time to really understand the situation from the perspective of someone from outside of your business – your customers, partners and the media. While a natural response might be to feel angry, nervous or shocked, make sure to avoid knee-jerk reactions that are brought on by these emotions. Instead, be calculated, take your time and respond only once you fully understand the situation and have received expert advice.
- Hire a PR professional
Regardless of whether or not you have a plan in place, a PR crisis can always throw you curveballs, and it can be difficult to manage a PR crisis in-house. When you’re in it, emotions like fear and frustration can muddle your vision, preventing you from reaching your objectives unscathed. Third party PR professionals like Green Door Co can view your situation objectively from an external perspective. They can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel and guide you to it safely.
If you would like to speak to a PR professional about diffusing a looming PR crisis or about putting a crisis plan in place, get in touch with the Green Door Co team today.