Retail PR & Digital Marketing

Five Steps To Handle PR Crises In 2020

ChicExecs Co-Founder and Co-President Kailynn Bowling shares five steps to handle PR crises in 2020 on Forbes blog.  Here is an excerpt from the piece.

During a crisis, you don’t have the luxury of time. Follow these five steps to navigate your business through crises quickly.

1. Create (or revise) a plan.

Many businesses don’t have a crisis communications plan at all. If that’s you, now is the time to create a plan. There are a lot of free templates you can use to jump-start yours.

If you have a plan already, read through it. In all likelihood, your crisis plan doesn’t touch on topics like pandemics, economic collapse, protests or racism. Make sure your scenarios, stakeholders and branding rules are up to date for today’s context.

2. Keep it simple.

Your team is probably scrambling to get information out to the public right now, but in the craze and confusion, you might send mixed messages to your audience. Or, even worse, you could send out conflicting information. Muddy messaging isn’t your friend in a crisis. Consistent and clear information is what you need right now.

3. Be honest.

Nothing is worse in PR than dishonesty. Even if you made a terrible mistake, it’s never a good idea to cover your tracks. If the public finds out you lied to them, it’s game over for your business.

The situation has been changing almost daily in 2020. Unless you have a magic crystal ball, you don’t have all the answers.

Instead of feigning confidence or pretending you have the answers, admit the unknowns.

4. Watch your tone.

Overly jovial or cold professional messaging won’t go over well in a crisis. Your customers are going through a really hard time right now. That requires a certain degree of solemnity from your messaging, even if your brand is more casual. Speak to customers as if they’ve just gotten the worst news of their life; when in doubt, err on the side of empathy and compassion.

5. Keep your ear to the ground.

Communication is a two-way street. Customers will react to your carefully crafted messaging, and not always in the ways you expect. Keep your finger on the pulse of customer sentiment to stay agile with your communications.

Read Kailynn’s entire blog here.

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