An old PR crisis can negatively affect a company’s reputation and profits. Some companies are unsure how to respond when faced with such a situation, which can be quite daunting. It is crucial for companies to manage the situation to mitigate the damage to their brand. To do this, companies should have a PR crisis management plan in place. 

Acknowledging the Resurfacing of the Crisis

To manage a resurfacing PR crisis, the first step is acknowledgment. The issue should be addressed publicly to show that the company is aware of the situation. Ignoring or hiding the problem will exacerbate the situation. Companies should make a public statement or social media post acknowledging the situation. Transparency and honesty are key, while reassuring the public that the issue is being addressed. This demonstrates the company’s commitment to resolving the situation. 

Revisiting the Crisis Management Plan

In the case of an old PR crisis resurfacing, it’s crucial to review the crisis management plan. The plan should identify who will be in charge of handling the situation and the steps taken to address it. If a company’s crisis management plan is outdated or unfinished, they should update it as needed. All stakeholders must be informed of any alterations made to the plan to ensure that everyone is on board, and the crisis is properly handled. 

Assessing the Situation

Effective communication with stakeholders is key in managing a PR crisis. These include employees, customers, investors, and others affected by the situation. Transparency is necessary to keep stakeholders informed with regular updates. Sharing the steps taken to address the issue and its potential impact on the company is also important. 

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Communicating with Stakeholders

To address a PR crisis, companies must take swift action. This could mean implementing new policies or offering compensation to customers. Changes might need to be made to products or services as well. Quick and decisive action is crucial to show the company’s commitment to resolution and prevention in the future. 

Taking Action

It’s important to take action to address the issue that caused the PR crisis. This may include implementing new policies and procedures. Companies might have to offer compensation or refunds to customers. They might have to make changes to the company’s products or services. Businesses have to take swift action to address the issue. That way, they can show the stakeholders that the company is committed to resolving the issue and preventing it from happening again in the future.

Monitoring the Situation

To manage a crisis, it’s essential to track the situation. Keep an eye on social media and news outlets for any mentions of the crisis and public feedback. This helps identify issues or risks that may arise as a result of the crisis, allowing for timely action to address them. Effective monitoring also ensures that responses are appropriate and the crisis is properly managed.

 

In addition to the steps mentioned above, companies should also consider seeking expert advice. PR crisis management is a specialized field, and professional guidance can be invaluable in navigating such situations. This could involve hiring a PR firm or crisis management consultant with experience in handling similar crises.

 

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.