With many eyes fixed on State College, Pennsylvania, and Penn State University in the wake Jerry Sandusky scandal, it is evident how integral having a PR strategy for dealing with crisis situations has become. How your business or organization deals with a crisis largely determines the impact that crisis will have on your business or organization going forward. We thought it was important to share a few pointers for your business to follow if you should ever find yourself in that position.
JASE’s Top 5 Public Relations Tips For Crisis Situations
- Be as transparent as possible – The more information you provide to the public, in most cases, the better off you will be. Keeping vital information from the public will keep them from making informed decisions on your company, which could be worse than just disclosing the information.
- Speak with one voice – Control who is speaking to the media and what they are saying. The fewer the people that provide information the less likely that information can become misrepresented or stated inaccurately.
- Media members have a job to do – Media members are there for one reason, to get the story. Never speak off the record or trust that they will not use information that you give them just because they claim to be a friend.
- Social Media must be controlled – Social community engagement should be controlled just as any other communication with the media. Employees or members of your organization can be just as detrimental with their personal accounts in social communities. Have clearly define rules for communication on social communities.
- Leave negativity alone – Do not engage in banter with people who align against your business or organization. If you engage in arguments with them, you could be potentially exposing your business. Always have calculated responses and statements and leave the results to due process.
Crisis situations should be avoided at all costs. But it is always a smart move to have a PR policy in place for difficult situations. If the members of your organization or company are briefed on the policy, it can help prevent any unfortunate missteps that could harm your business.
image credit: JoshBerglund19 on flickr