While we all hope that our business never experiences a PR nightmare, the fact is, many business experiences them at one point in time or another. In fact, in 2019 and 2020, many businesses found themselves in hot water over their handling of the whole COVID-19 pandemic, forcing some to close their doors altogether! Even the most prestigious, well-equipped businesses aren’t immune. Just ask Boeing with the handling of the Boeing 737 Max.
Fact is, there is a fine line between a simple customer service mishap and a full-blown nightmare that could take down your business. Contrary to the age old saying, all press is good press, there are some instances where you need to roll out the big guns to prevent things from getting out of hand. The modern-day consumer is skeptical, outrage-prone, boisterous, and well-connected. With access to online review sites, social media, blog sites, and media, unfortunately the average consumer can easily turn into a stone-throwing nightmare, costing your business thousands of dollars, if not more, in damage to your reputation and bottom line.
It’s All About Timing
When it comes to minimizing the effects of a PR crisis, it is all about timing. A premature response will often mean that you are forgetting critical elements in a strategic response and lead to gaps in your communication strategy. This normally results in businesses backtracking on previous statements or contradictions which will undoubtedly lead to further damage to your reputation. With that said, delaying your response can also have a negative impact. It can cause consumers to feel as if you don’t care or are just waiting for things to blow over. Consumer perception will certainly negative and create a more difficult and longer recovery time. The key to your success will be formulating a strategy as quickly as possible, but ensuring that as many details as possible are identified and documented as a part of a larger communication strategy.
How We Can Help Mitigate A Larger Problem
At No Boundaries Marketing Group, our amazing PR team knows a thing or two about creating a crisis communication plan. We have created response plans from everything from sexual harassment accusations, legal issues, security breach, regulatory concerns, poor customer experiences, COVID-19, and so much more. It is important however to remember, not all PR crisis affect each company in the same way. The strategy and recommendations that we put forth are based on a variety of factors including company history, leadership, community engagement, nature of the issue, visibility of the issue, and so much more. In general, we recommend the following:
Appoint a spokesman who is solely responsible for communications
Craft a well-rounded strategy that includes both internal and external communications
Identify and address affected parties
Communicate a well thought out message
Monitor and adapt as the picture changes
Review and learn from the situation
For more information on Crisis PR and how we can help you, please give us a call today at (602) 377-7773!