For any enterprise, a PR crisis is inevitable. Given the crucial importance of proper handling of a PR crisis to a company and the high transmission speed of social media, companies have to deal with a PR crisis successfully to stay afloat. When dealing with a PR crisis, companies should follow five principles: shoulder the matter, sincerity, speed, system and standard. When a PR crisis happens, companies should take the responsibilities – whatever the responsibility, individual or corporate. Companies should always be honest and place consumer interest as the top priority, and never evade problems or mistakes. In the first 12 to 24 hours of a PR crisis, news will spread like a virus. Because of this, a company must respond decisively and rapidly to communicate with the media and the public to quickly control the situation, otherwise the crisis will only get worse. A crisis should be managed systematically with a unified leading group with the same message. Lastly, the company should seek the help of third-party heavyweights to regain trust of shareholders.Under these five principles, what can companies do to prepare themselves for a PR crisis?First, companies should define for themselves what constitutes a PR crisis. They should let the staff realize the seriousnessof a PR crisis to the company. In the face of fierce market competition preperation for a PR crisis should be an integral part of daily work.Second, the company should figure out how the PR crisis is related to the company. What is the degree of public involvement and how much impact and potential risk is there. This is the basic and also the most fundamental step for dealing with the PR crisis successfully.Third,a company has to rebuild public trust. Public trust comes from the company’s first reaction after a PR crisis happens. The public judges a company’s motivation from its first reaction and then further judges whether this company is trustable or not. Through the first reaction, the company should deliver honesty, sincerity and goodwill to solve the problem and reduce harm caused to the public.Fourth, cooperating with PR agencies. During a PR crisis, the media is a double-edged-sword. On one hand, it influences the outbreak of the PR crisis; on the other hand, it is also critical to the control of a PR crisis. The company should cooperate with a PR agency to use the power of the media. This cooperation can extend not only to traditional media, but also professional and online media
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