crisis pr plan
crisis pr plan

Every business should be prepared for the inevitability of a communications crisis, which can come from any number of events – from a negative review to a failed event, even a natural disaster. When these situations happen, companies also have to face another aspect of the crisis – rumors, fake news, and cyber attacks.

That’s why it’s always better to have a PR crisis plan and team in place long before they’re needed. Because during the crisis itself, every moment is important, and having a team of people that are prepared on how to respond during that stressful time is the difference between brands that are successful during a crisis and those that aren’t.

Team, Plan, and Statement

As previously mentioned, companies should have a PR crisis team and a plan before a crisis, and everyone involved in a crisis should be listening to the team when the situation finally happens. The team should be diverse because that provides companies with different perspectives, as well as an overview on whether any messages can be misinterpreted during a crisis.

The PR crisis team will also create a plan on what the company should be doing during a crisis. I.e establish a chain of command, as well as an approval process for everyone involved. They will also create general statements that can cover predicted situations beforehand, which can be modified to fit any type of situation.

Monitoring and Listening

Companies should be monitoring and listening to what people are saying about the brand online to identify any potential negative trends. T

here are multiple channels that companies should be monitoring, such as social media, customer review websites, media outlets, and many others. Having a good social listening strategy means that the company will be relatively able to predict the scope of a potentially negative situation and mitigate it before it can turn into a PR crisis.

Additionally, influencers aren’t only useful for influencer marketing campaigns, they can be a beacon of hope for the brand’s reputation and image during a negative situation because they can more easily sway public opinion during a PR crisis.

Truth and Transparency

It’s important to remain calm and stick to the facts during a PR crisis, no matter what others are saying. It’s also essential for the company spokesperson to speak only when they have all the facts, and not try to get ahead of a problem while potentially making things worse because the company doesn’t know all the necessary information.

Finally, when making a public statement, the company should acknowledge its mistakes, and take responsibility for the actions that led to the crisis in the first place.

During that time, it’s essential to sound empathetic, genuine, and vulnerable, and show how the company will be proceeding with its endeavors in the future, and avoid having any similar situations from happening.

Discover more from Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian Speaker Profile on All American Speakers
Ronn Torossian’s Contributions to Website Magazine
Ronn Torossian’s Professional Profile on Muck Rack
Ronn Torossian’s Contributions on PR News Online
Ronn Torossian’s Twitter Profile

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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.