Public relations (PR) is an essential part of any business strategy, and crafting an effective PR statement is crucial when dealing with a crisis situation. A PR statement can help businesses respond to negative press, clarify any misunderstandings, and reassure customers and stakeholders. 

Acknowledging the Issue

The first step in how to write a PR statement is to acknowledge the issue. Denying the issue or being defensive can make the situation worse. It’s important to acknowledge the problem and show empathy for those affected. Start by acknowledging the issue and expressing concern for those affected.

Providing the Facts

After acknowledging the issue, provide the facts surrounding the situation. Be transparent and honest about what happened. Providing the facts can help to avoid any misunderstandings or rumors. Ensure that the statement is factual and accurate, and avoid speculations or assumptions.

Taking Responsibility

Taking responsibility is an essential part of any crisis statement. If the company is responsible for the issue, it’s important to take responsibility and apologize. If the company is not responsible, the statement should clarify the situation and provide information about any actions being taken.

Offering a Solution

After taking responsibility, offer a solution to the issue. The solution should be practical, realistic, and address the problem. Provide information on what actions the company is taking to prevent the issue from happening again. This can help to reassure stakeholders and customers that the issue is being addressed.

Showing empathy

In a crisis situation, it’s important to show empathy for those affected. Express sympathy and concern for those impacted by the situation. This can help to build trust with customers and stakeholders and show that the company is taking the situation seriously.

Providing a Plan for the Future

After addressing the current situation, it’s important to provide a plan for the future. This plan should outline how the company will prevent similar situations from happening again. The plan should be realistic and include concrete steps that the company will take to address the issue. It’s best to create a crisis communication strategy with various solutions on how the brand can move forward ahead of time.

Proofreading and Editing the Statement

Before releasing the statement, proofread and edit it for grammar, spelling, and clarity. Ensure that the statement is concise, to the point, and easy to understand. Avoid using technical jargon or complicated language. The statement should be easy to read and accessible to all stakeholders.

Effective Crisis Response Statement Examples

Brands across industries and of various sizes can experience crises and need to address the public. Below are some effective crisis response statements from well known brands. 


Back in 2017, Pepsi decided to create a brand new advertising campaign. The campaign was centered around an ad that featured Kendall Jenner, which racked up over a million views on YouTube once it was published. The backlash from the public to the ad was prompt, and Pepsi had to release a statement apologizing for the ad, and then completely paused the campaign. 


In 2018, Starbucks faced a crisis when two black men were arrested at one of their stores. The incident sparked protests and backlash against the company. Starbucks responded with a statement that acknowledged the issue, took responsibility, and then offered a solution. 


In 2017, Uber had a difficult beginning in the year, as the public found out that the company’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, was advising President Trump. He was on the advisory council for the president and decided to step down after the hashtag #DeleteUber started trending on Twitter.

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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.