The Double-Headed Dragon of the Media
Crisis Management PR is a special technology that can save you from a business-crushing onslaught from the media.
By Karla Jo Helms
With the Internet and social media being widely used as a speedy form of communications, a news story can literally break within seconds online. This can be a great thing when it comes to positive PR for your business because you can post content and it appears instantaneously in front of a large audience of readers.
The fact that information can appear within seconds can also be a bad thing and it can be very scary if you do not have a crisis management plan in place for your company. This is where a knowledgeable and competent PR professional, who specializes in Crisis Management, can really be of assistance and help you save the reputation of your company.
How a PR Professional Can Help
An experienced Crisis Management PR professional will know how to put a plan in place for your company and know how to implement it quickly in the event something happens. For example, a customer could be sitting and eating in a restaurant and have a bad experience. If they immediately went on Twitter through their mobile device the comments reach an entire audience with a click of a button.
You can rectify the situation by announcing something like it recently came to your attention that our customers are unhappy with [fill in the blank] and so we are implementing a new [fill in the blank]. If you have a PR professional who knows what they are doing they can be running with the ball, turning something that was negative into a positive experience.
True PR Professionals Work Fast
A hot PR company or professional knows how to work fast and can be very creative with handling a crisis as described above. And as fast as news travels through social media and other online venues, it is important to stay ahead of the game by having a crisis management plan in place. If your communication lines are slow or you have not trusted your PR professional enough to provide them with the authority to make certain decisions, then they cannot do what they need to do to save your reputation as well as the reputation of your business.
It would behoove both small businesses and large corporations to find out what a well-executed PR campaign could do for them and the importance of laying the groundwork behind the scenes to stay in tune with the latest communication vehicles. If you have a contingency plan behind the scenes then all the public sees on the outside is a smooth operation and a PR professional can ensure that this happens like clockwork.
Another thing to keep in mind when working with a good PR professional is they can help you show the ‘human side’ of your company by saying, “Yes. We made a mistake and this is what we are doing about it.” This is a plus with your customers and stockholders (if you have them) because it shows you are being honest and forthcoming and that you care enough about your business to improve the situation.
Positives Can Outweigh Negatives
A PR professional can help to ensure that the remedy for the problem outshines the problem itself so you save face and people focus on the resolution instead of the problem. These types of skills that a good PR professional has are worth their weight in gold if you happen to have a crisis. As a result of the doom and gloom in the media, people tend to focus on the negative. A good PR professional will make an effort to focus people’s attention on the solution you provide instead of the problem.
Good PR professionals know that you must be proactive to go against the constant onslaught of negative communications that the public receives from mainstream media on a daily basis. By being proactive and providing a wealth of good publicity for your company, a good PR professional can flood your market with so much good that if something does happen it quickly fades into the background and does not last for any extended period of time.