No matter the industry, food service to fashion, a public relations crisis can happen to any business. Companies from Tylenol to Toyota have been hit hard in the media. While a media crisis may hit without warning, companies can positively manage the crisis. Below are four quick tips for handling a PR crisis gracefully.

How to Handle a PR Crisis Gracefully in Four Quick Tips
  1.  Once a crisis has a occurred, the company may become bombarded with media inquiries. To avoid looking guilty, it is important to address the issue head on, don’t avoid the media. If information is still developing on the issue, share information that has been verified and follow-up as details become available. Don’t speculate or try to answer questions if you don’t have substantiated information.
  2. Credibility is important during a crisis. When addressing concerns if statistical data or a third-party verification source is available, use that information as a reference. By focusing on facts, you can try to keep the conversation focused on your organization’s message and crisis management solution versus speculation.
  3. Tip 3: If your company has a failed its customers – apologize. Take responsibility and use your apology as a launch for how your company plans to address the issue. Make sure that both your apology and your plan are solution-oriented and are not just an opportunity to try to pass the buck.
  4. Tip 4: Use the crisis as an opportunity to effect change in your organization. Once the crisis has been addressed, your organization should use the lessons learned to make your company and product/service better. As you make changes in your organization use the media and your social media platforms to share the changes. Focus on how the change is a positive for your organization.

When dealing with a crisis it’s important to be proactive, not reactive. That’s why JASE Group believes that every business should have a PR crisis plan in place. Contact JASE Group, a leading public relations and inbound marketing firm, to assist with your strategic crisis plan.

Crisisimage credit: BrianR on Flickr

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