Crisis Management: think carefully before you respond

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Combating crisis is a challenge businesses must face, and the risk is higher than ever as a result of the 24/7 news cycle and social media. Whether it’s a string of bad reviews or a negative incident that impacts your business’ name or industry, it is vital to have a response plan in place.

The public relations professionals at Adoni Media have helped several businesses in the face of a crisis. Here are their top tips.

Have a plan

First and foremost, you should prepare a plan that will minimise the damage if a crisis occurs. Appoint and train a response team, either using an external agency or an internal department. It is also important to media train key spokespeople in your business so they understand how journalists work and how to communicate effectively with them.

Know your key messages

Think about the key messages that your brand wants to convey. Once you have clear messages, they can be filtered into all communication materials and media interviews during and after a crisis to help minimise the impact and associated brand damage. These should be updated regularly as your business expands and evolves.

Be honest and open

Nothing generates more negative media coverage than a lack of honesty and transparency. Be transparent across all communications channels and keep your messaging consistent. If the crisis is due to the employees or operations of your business, taking responsibility and issuing an apology will serve your brand better than denying the crisis. This will also build trust with your audience and increase your brand reputation.

Have empathy

Expressing empathy can humanise the issue and will help you better connect to your audience. Being sensitive to the issue and its impact on the public with help maintain your brand’s reputation during and after a crisis.