In today’s fast-paced and interconnected world, a PR crisis can happen to any brand, no matter how big or small. In times of crisis, internal communication is crucial for brands to ensure that their employees are well-informed, and aligned, and can support the company’s efforts to manage the situation. In the aftermath of the failure of Silicon Valley Bank, others should learn more about the best practices for internal communication.

Being Proactive and Transparent

During a PR crisis, it’s essential for brands to communicate proactively and transparently with their employees. This means sharing relevant information about the situation, how it’s being addressed, and what employees can do to help. By being proactive and transparent, brands can ensure that employees feel informed and valued. This can help to minimize anxiety and confusion. To do that better, brands should have a clear communication plan in place before a crisis occurs. This plan should outline how communication will be managed during the crisis. It should list who will be responsible for communicating with employees, and what channels will be used to communicate. The plan should also specify the tone and messaging that will be used in all communications to ensure consistency. Brands should stay on top of the news and be prepared to adjust their communication strategy as needed too. This may involve monitoring social media and setting up Google alerts. Companies can also have a dedicated team that’s responsible for tracking news and responding to new developments.

Using Multiple Communication Channels

During a PR crisis, it’s important to use multiple communication channels to reach employees. This includes email, social media, internal communication tools, and even face-to-face meetings. By using multiple channels, brands can ensure that employees receive timely and accurate information. Brands will also ensure that they have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback. It’s important for brands to monitor employee feedback too. That way, they can adjust their communication approach as needed. This can involve soliciting feedback from employees on how they’re feeling and what questions they have. Companies can also inquire about any additional information they need. 

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Providing Resources and Support

During a PR crisis, employees may experience anxiety, stress, or other negative emotions. Brands should provide resources and support to help employees manage their feelings and stay focused on their work. This can include access to counseling services and training on stress management techniques. It can also include regular check-ins with managers or HR personnel. During a PR crisis, it’s also essential for brands to communicate in an empathetic and authentic manner. This means acknowledging the impact that the situation may be having on employees and other stakeholders. Brands should demonstrate a commitment to addressing the issue in a transparent and accountable way. By showing empathy and authenticity, brands can build trust and credibility.

Designating a Spokesperson

Designating a spokesperson who will serve as the face of the brand during a crisis is crucial. This person should be media-savvy, knowledgeable about the situation, and able to communicate effectively with employees and stakeholders. Having a designated spokesperson can help to ensure that all communication is consistent and on message.

Fostering a Culture of Open Communication

In order to effectively communicate during a crisis, brands should foster a culture of open communication within their organization. This means encouraging employees to speak up if they have concerns or questions. Companies should also be providing the employees with regular opportunities for feedback and dialogue. By creating a culture of open communication, brands can ensure that everyone is on the same page and working together towards a common goal.

Discover more articles from Ronn Torossian:

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder & Chairman of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently owned PR firms in the United States. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth and vision, with the agency earning accolades including being named a Top 50 Global PR Agency by PRovoke Media, a top three NYC PR agency by O'Dwyers, one of Inc. Magazine's Best Workplaces and being awarded multiple American Business Awards, including a Stevie Award for PR Agency of the Year. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected public relations executives. Throughout his career he has advised leading and high-growth businesses, organizations, leaders and boards across corporate, technology and consumer industries. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications. He has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly in the media and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. Torossian's strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, a Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a recipient of Crain's New York Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Outside of 5W, Torossian serves as a business advisor to and investor in multiple early stage businesses across the media, B2B and B2C landscape. Torossian is the proud father of two daughters. He is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of multiple not for profit organizations.