If you’ve ever been in the midst of a PR scandal, you know that there’s a right way and a wrong way to handle it. Here’s what to do.
Communication is key especially in a PR crisis. What you have to remember is that you have to react order strategically and soundly, and follow these 4 steps.
1. Assess the situation
Ask all the right questions before you react. Know what you’re dealing with by gathering all pertinent information, not just bits and pieces. It’s also important to separate the emotional drama from facts, and focus on the affected parties and assess the risks before planning a resolution. From team members to legal counsel, everyone must understand the scandal from every angle before reacting.
2. Organize your messaging
If a public statement is necessary, adapt your message to the specific audiences involved and speak to the facts, not speculation. Your team may decide that pulling ads is a good idea to take your company out of the spotlight or, that’s it’s best to apologize and keep a low profile. Trust the experts, not your emotions.
3. Keep an eye on the media
Once you’re organized and launched your response, keep an eye on the reaction from the media – and that includes traditional media to social media. Monitoring tools help with this to see what’s being said about you.
4. Learn from what happened
After surviving the scandal, analyze your response. How effective was it? Was the outcome what you wanted? Learn what worked and use it to your advantage in upcoming campaigns to show a more positive side of your brand.