Tips for Responding to a Public Relations Crisis

Published on 22nd March 2024

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This insights post is a summary of the original blog post published by InstiCOM. View the full post: In a crisis? Do not bury your head in the sand

When a company is confronted with a scandal or public relations crisis, sometimes they put their head in the sand and try to wait it out. This practice is a mistake. In fact, staying silent and unresponsive often makes the crisis worse. If your brand is face with PR crisis, you need to quickly put together a measured response and share it with the media.

What would you do if your business becomes the target of criticism in the media and/or on social platforms? No matter what the started the crisis, you need a timely and thought-out response. The best crisis management strategies include steps to communicate with journalists. Regular contact gives your business the opportunity to maintain a level of control over the information, instead of letting the story get pulled in a different direction.

Don’t Put Your “Head in the Sand”

Far too often, a company’s first reaction to a crisis is going dark or burying its head in the sand. Don’t wait for a media storm to pass, even if you don’t have much to communicate, it’s important to try anyway. If you’re silent during a crisis, your business becomes more suspicious with the public and media.

These feelings of suspicion often become fuel for journalists to create stories that appeal to that narrative. With the growing view of people wanting more corporate social responsibility, being silent in a crisis can’t happen. The expectation for companies to act in the community’s best interest is at an all-time high.

You can’t wait for journalists to talk about your business before you’ve had a chance to respond. Silence can give journalists and other members of the media the impression that any assumption of wrongdoing is confirmed. The media will even go find other sources to learn more about the story and confirm their suspicions. You want to give journalists correct information and do your best to keep the media from going outside the company for more details.

Practice Open Communication

One of the best tactics to help protect your company’s reputation in a crisis is practicing open and ethical communication. Public opinions are often harsher with businesses that don’t act with integrity.

To learn more about the details on how prepare and respond to a public relations crisis, check out the full blog post: In a crisis? Don’t bury your head in the sand.

Get more Worldcom Partner insights on crisis management and media relations. Find out more about our Crisis & Issue Management services and SALUS our Crisis Preparedness and Protection Service.

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