Do you have a PR crisis plan in place? If the shit was to hit the fan today, would you be able to spring into immediate action? Would your VPs know what to do?
Having a PR crisis plan is like having insurance. You need it, but hope you never have to use it. So before something goes wrong it’s important for key people in the organization to know what their individual roles will be.
- Who will respond to media requests?
- Who will be the media spokesperson? Are they comfortable with public speaking? Do they know your corporate messaging?
- Who will monitor your social media and respond to comments/questions?
Today I wanted to share with you some quick tips for surviving a PR crisis.
- Release a statement right after the incident. If you need to apologize, the do it right away.
- Apologize again on a national news, own up to any bad behaviour and share any corrective actions your company will be taking. Transparency is key here. Think Michael McCain and his public apology for Maple Leaf Foods Listeria incident a few years ago.
- Cancel any promotions and/or tours promoting your latest projects/products.
- Have a prepared statement for company spokespeople is obvious, take the extra step to ensure employees are aware of the company’s key messages.
- Be active on social media. Respond to comments, positive AND negative. Social media is a good method of monitoring public perception.
- Wait for the media circus has calmed down before returning to “regular business”.