Crisis is imminent in all businesses; no matter how big or small the organization. Sidestepping a crises situation can rarely be avoided. Be it a bad customer feedback, an accident in a factory, an employee filing a case against the firm or even worse a crisis needs to be handled with extreme due diligence.
It is extremely important to use the best possible channels to clarify and manage the issue so as to avoid a negative imagery amongst the stakeholders. A good PR agency can help you with the damage control. It is imperative that your communication experts are in-sync with the operations and the issues.
Three things to keep in mind while handling a crisis:
1) Knowledge about the issue: Before you can solve a problem you need to know the situation thoroughly. Gather the facts, understand the situation and then analyze the crisis.This is the first and the most basic step that has to be followed which is generally taken very lightly.
When a crisis occurs one gets the urge to respond instantly, however, it is important to get the key messages straight and prepare Q&As before any media interaction. Even while issuing a press statement it is important to note that all the key points are covered without any ambiguity.
2) Decide on your channels of distribution: After determining the issue and shortlisting the key messages to be communicated to the audience, it is important to decide on the distribution channel. Based on the brand positioning, one can decide whether to use social media, a press statement, a press release or a media briefing. Keep in mind the use, effect and result of each of these channels before zeroing on the final one. For instance, social media can really help in reaching out to the masses but one has to be extremely sure about the same and also keep in mind that it is difficult to control the messaging here.
3) Monitor reaction and react if needed: The job isn’t done yet, once the statement is out it is important to track the reaction and respond to queries if need be. It usually takes a few days for the fire to die down. Sometimes being patient is the key and other times there might be a need to give additional press statements.
In all it is important to keep your PR agency in the loop at all times to ensure smoother functioning of operations and avoid any major crises.