The dreaded word ‘crisis’ crops up more than you might think in PR. After just one year working in the industry, I’ve watched a few crises unfold. In fact, most businesses will experience one at some point, and I’ve learnt that being prepared is key.
While challenges often strike when least expected, the Open Comms team are confident in handling any problems our clients face. With a solid plan in place, and knowledge of the relevant industries we work in, we are prepared and ready to support businesses of all sizes.
Crisis can certainly give us a buzz and spice up our day! Not that we want them every day, but successfully managing a crisis can be very satisfying, although we would rather avoid them.
Keep Calm and Consider Your Actions
On discovering an impending crisis, my first point of action would be to keep calm and look at the crisis from a different perspective. Overreacting may make a potential issue worse. It’s worth considering a few options and understand the right time to intervene.
For example, an unflattering tweet could be damaging to a brands reputation, but if we were to block the account or hide the comment it is likely it will provoke the consumer into further shaming the brand.
Hiding comments after a crisis has calmed down is another option. It is sometimes best to see how the situation develops before acting. There is also a chance it might settle down on its own before things turn nasty.
Being aware of whats happening in the world is so important when it comes to anticipating what has the potential to damage a brands reputation. While we cannot predict the future, topical issues such as climate change, conversations around single use plastics and Covid 19 are just a few examples of things we keep our eyes on day to day.
It is important to be aware of the issues and understand how they could be connected to brands or accounts we are working with. This helps us recognise when a crisis might strike before it happens and allows us to steer clients away from throwing themselves into the fire.
Know When to Act Fast
Acting fast is important. Particularly when monitoring social media accounts. A simple complaint can escalate if not handled promptly. Its important to regularly monitor brands social media accounts, watching out for any complaints that might come through and managing them quickly and efficiently.
Misreading a tone of voice or simply not responding to a query can quickly turn into a crisis. We have to remember that brands are always visible online and that is further reason to be ready to respond.
Its worth knowing that PR crisis happen every day to many brands and businesses. With so much happening on social media, and consumers continually inundated with new content, it is unlikely that a well-handled crisis will have a long-term effect on business.
As bad as a crisis may seem at the time, many brands have overcome huge problems day to day. Being aware of what caused the issue in the first place and learning from mistakes is the most valuable thing to take away.
Having an experienced team on hand is, without a doubt, the best way to handle a PR crisis before it happens.
If you would like to know more about Open Comms and the services we offer, why not give us a call on 01924 862477 or contact us here.