No matter how careful you are, your business is bound to experience at least one crisis during its lifetime. Whether that be a newsworthy scandal or a couple of unfavorable reviews, you can expect either of these to have an equally damaging effect on your company. The best thing you can do for your business is being proactive, but there are also ways for you to navigate the ins and outs of the situation if you find yourself in the middle of a negative PR incident. Here are some strategies you can implement in the event that this happens to you:
Form a response team
It’s important to form a response team even before the first signs of trouble appear, but even during a crisis, you still have time to establish one to represent your company. Corporate fraud lawyers can help you deal with all the complex matters that accompany your case and how to carefully and efficiently handle your media angle to place your business in the best light.
Avoid acting hastily
People might not remember the details of your crisis, but they’ll definitely remember how you reacted to it. It’s important to remain calm and composed before you do anything hasty. You need to take your time to avoid responding negatively to the situation thus exacerbating the problem. But don’t wait too long and don’t respond too swiftly. Reacting too soon means giving an incomplete and rash response without all the appropriate facts. You might backtrack or contradict yourself later, which will most definitely reflect badly on you and your organization.
Keep an open line of communication
Make sure to keep an open line of communication with your employees. This allows you to minimize any risks, especially with regards to anyone in your workforce posting rumors or incorrect information on social media. You should also be forthcoming about any information and risks to your stakeholders and the public at large. Assigning a spokesperson who can represent your company when speaking to the media and general public is a good idea.
Craft your statement
Work with your response team to craft a thorough and accurate press release explaining your side of the story to the public. If it’s found that your company is at fault, you’ll have to come clean, accept responsibility, express sympathy towards those affected by your actions, and apologize as soon as possible. You’ll need to work out with your team what the best way to address this is. In more serious cases, you may need to perform swift corrective action as well.
Keep an eye on the situation
Once you’ve done some damage control, it’s important to keep an eye on what’s being said about your business on social media. Understanding how stakeholders and the general public are perceiving your company can help you better respond to the situation as it’s happening. You’ll also learn how to avoid running into any more PR emergencies in the future. Take note of any keywords, competitors, and influencers that are associated with both the crisis and your business.
These tips will help you prepare for the inevitable. There’s no guarantee that your business won’t run into trouble at some point in its lifetime. What’s important is how you handle it and how you move forward from the crisis.