Public Relations is an important aspect of any modern business. Universities are offering Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the subject and most companies have entire departments dedicated to it. In a world of technology and social media, it is important to be proactive as well as reactive. Think about the most recent PR crises in the news. Pepsi with their release of an ad featuring Kendall Jenner, United Airlines with their handling of a customer interaction, and Ja Rule’s Fyre Festival. were all crises the companies had to react to immediately.
Today we are discussing tips for businesses to better help them handle a PR crisis.
Address the Problem
A business can ignore many problems; a PR crisis is not one of them. Once a problem has been identified, the best way to work toward a solution is to acknowledge what went wrong. Then address how you plan to handle the situation. Make sure your solution is well thought out, sincere, and delivered appropriately. Americans appreciate honesty and solutions.
Take Time to Listen
If there are enough complaints for an issue to be considered a PR “crisis,” there is a reason it’s a problem. Listen to the public’s opinion of the situation. By listening and specifically addressing the issue, your business can rebuild the trust of its customers and clientele.
No matter the issue, handle it professionally. As a business, the stakes are high during times of PR crisis. Avoid unprofessional interactions. This is most important on social media outlets.
Employ a team of highly skilled PR professionals. Makes sure they are up to date on technology and social media etiquette. PR is a fast-paced, ever changing environment disaster can strike due to a lapse in education and current expectations.
There are many aspects of PR and crisis handling, many of which depend on the company’s PR reputation before the crisis. The best way to handle a PR crisis is by avoiding issues in the first place with a top-notch staff and continuing education. All it takes is a PR spark to ruin an entire business.