A crisis hits – how do you protect your business’ reputation?

Lauren Everitt

Reputations can be made or destroyed by how a company handles a crisis situation. Here account manager Lauren Everitt explains how bringing structure with a crisis communications strategy helps maintain a cool, calm and collected response.

 

Some organisations respond well in a crisis while others flounder and often make matters worse. However, the truth is that some genuinely do not know where to start.

That’s where we come in. Our team of experts can help protect a business with crisis communications support including managing social media channels, drafting statements both internally and externally, providing advice and creating a recovery strategy for whenever the worst happens.

Crisis comms strategy

Any reputational crisis is far easier to manage if a system is in place detailing the action that needs to be taken. This is where a step-by-step guide is beneficial and will keep the business on the front foot. Details in this document include:

  • A scenario plan with a rating for different circumstances depending on the level of crisis. This provides examples of an issue and a statement for social media and the press.
  • Contact details for the key people who need to be informed and involved.
  • A tick list of actions that need to be carried out.
  • A database of experts who can be consulted with if required.

By following these steps, the organisation and PR team will be able to keep control of communications in the early stages of a crisis situation.

More often than not, the demands during a crisis are immense and it is a high-pressure situation. There will be dozens of internal and external stakeholders who require rapid and concise information as well as reassurance. This is made more challenging at a time when there are likely to be constraints on what you can and cannot say.

Building for future success

As well as devising a plan, there are many steps a business can take in advance of a crisis. These include:

  • Signing up to a media monitoring service which picks up coverage of a crisis as it unfolds.
  • Creating a plan to look after the company’s most important asset; its staff.
  • Provide training for the organisation’s spokespeople and ensure they know how to act professionally in front of the media.
  • Build relationships with external agencies

At Prominent, we recommend all of our clients consider developing a crisis comms strategy with a set system for before, during and after a crisis hits. Having a plan in place will ensure all messaging is in the company’s tone of voice and it is consistent.

Plenty of groundwork can be done to prevent a crisis situation from developing into a PR nightmare.

If your business needs assistance with developing a crisis communications strategy, get in touch with us by emailing hello@prominentpr.co.uk or give us a call on 01473 276126.

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