Dealing With A Public Relations Nightmare?
Many businesses — including Samsung, Chick-Fil-A, and Pepsi — have managed to come back from devastating public relations issues. While PR problems can ruin a business, they don’t have to.
If you’re dealing with a brand crisis in 2021, it’s key to act fast.
Bad PR spreads like wildfire. If you’re dealing with negative press, your customer base will know as soon as you do. Waiting to figure out the right thing to say can be as bad as saying nothing at all.
Here, we’ll take a look at what you can do to manage a PR crisis.
You need to speak to your audience sooner rather than later. Research shows that waiting to address a crisis directly impacts your company’s financial future. You may not have the right words yet — and that’s ok.
Telling your audience that you’re aware of the problem and reflecting on how to respond is better than saying nothing. Get an initial statement out — fast.
While it may be tempting, don’t try to go the negative content removal route. Screenshots have been taken, and people aren’t going to forget what happened. Your brand needs to own up, deal with the feedback, and move forward.
Brace Yourself For Feedback
If your company is in the midst of a PR crisis, you’re going to get negative feedback. As long as your customers are continuing to engage, you have a platform. There’s no need to try to argue or respond to every negative comment.
It’s a smart move to assemble a crisis management team to deal with phone calls and letters. Develop an across-the-board stance and respond with a unified front. It’s smart to revisit your stance over time. As you learn and get new information, allow your stance to change.
Remember — It’s OK To Apologize
Backtracking, making excuses, and trying to explain away bad behavior doesn’t work anymore. If your company messed up, it’s time to fess up. Speaking from the heart and making an honest commitment to change can go a long way.
For many people, this doesn’t come naturally. It’s a smart move to run your statement by crisis management professionals before putting it out to the public. While you may be tempted to speak on the issue on live social media, this may not be a good idea (unless you go through professional training first).
Develop Your Team — Fast
For most people, crisis management feels impossible. It’s important to work with a crisis management team. While you may have a solid PR team at your business, you also need people who have been through crisis management before. Reach out to a brand crisis management company to increase the odds of a comeback.
If you’ve never experienced a brand crisis before, this isn’t going to be easy. Bringing in the business reputation pros can help.