Crisis PR - 5WPR CEO Ronn TorossianKnowing how to respond and doing so without hesitation are vital when dealing with a public relations crisis.

Here are some of the ways we suggest if faced with a media crisis:

Take responsibility..

Remember that scene in the movies when Harrison Ford advises the President on how to deal with questions from the press. It went something like if they ask if he was a friend, you say he was a dear friend….if they call him a close friend, you say, lifelong friend. If you remember and follow that advice when you are faced with your PR nightmare, it will serve you well. Don’t make excuses or blame someone else, even if it is their fault. Stand front and center and stand tall. At the same time, have at least a ghost of an idea on how to make it right so you can hint at those plans or spell them out completely if you know the plan already.

Address the situation quickly and directly…

As fast as you can begin responding to the situation, you should be there. Even if you do not have any information yet, Get the word out you just learned and are waiting for further information. Assure people you will keep them updated … and make certain you do. Even if you have nothing new to report, especially in situations where people’s lives are at risk or have been lost. The silence for those waiting is unbearable and keeping in constant contact may be the only thing you can do for them in that time. You need to do it and be thinking of what you can do to help those waiting, so they have something of comfort or ease.

Lead the conversation – frame the story…

Be open and transparent, but be in charge of your story. Think fast on your feet. Is it better to let someone rant and look like a crazy person, or find a means to stop them in their tracks. If what is said is true, own it.

Be prepared…

Crisis management will always be a lot easier if you have information prepared in advance. You may not know what crisis will arise, but you know the variables for most situations. Spend time with your team on a regular basis brainstorming what things might go wrong and what would be the best approach. Having that type of information already prepared allows you to hit the ground running and look like a star even in the middle of the crisis – and of course media training matters.

Control messaging…

The more prepared you are for whatever the crisis is, the better you can control your message. If you have a list of experts or videos of experts, you can refer to those immediately. If you need to know who can get sandwiches, or blankets, or a gathering place and already have that at your fingertips, you can then focus on the real work. Then ferret out details and relay information in helpful and compassionate ways.

 

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2 Responses to Get Ahead Of A Story During A PR Crisis

  1. […] Get Ahead Of A Story During A PR Crisis […]

  2. […] efficiently as possible without losing face or momentum. In order to do this a candidate needs a committed crisis intervention team, clear lines of communication, and a plan of action. If a candidate fails to set aside the […]

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