We hope you never need to use it, but crisis communications is a necessary part of PR.
When brands are prepared for difficult situations or negative publicity, having comprehensive crisis plans with step-by-step instructions will ensure that the company stays one step ahead of any potential crises.
You’ll also want to make sure that systems are in place to ensure that all stakeholders are informed quickly so that the right messages can be communicated to the public. Solid crisis communications should be updated regularly. Proactively preparing for difficult situations by developing plans and protocols and swift messaging can help companies protect their reputation during times of crisis.
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A. The best way to respond to any crisis is to first acknowledge the situation. Of course, every situation will vary in what can be discussed openly due to legal concerns, but brands that either lie or cover up a situation only make the matter worse. As far as addressing specific crises, you’ll want to act fast with your agency, legal counsel, and company leaders.
Q: What are the key components of a successful crisis communication strategy?
A. First off, the best crisis communication strategy never needs to be used. We never want a crisis to take place and would rather just plan for it—but we know as PR practitioners that they happen. The key components of a crisis communications plan include understanding spokespeople for a crisis and how they will communicate, having a crystal clear understanding of messaging and ensuring those spokespersons stay on point, understanding the threat and severity of the crisis and the impact on the business, and doing everything to mitigate the situation in a timely manner.
Q: Are there any techniques for addressing negative or inaccurate content about my brand on social media during a crisis?
A. Addressing negative content about a brand on social media amid a crisis can be challenging. It is also very difficult to ascertain the right response without knowing the brand and the crisis at hand. Inaccurate content is easier to address during a crisis. Negative content may be a consequence of the crisis and that is tough to avoid. However, inaccurate content and misinformation can and should always be addressed.
It is best to consult with an experienced PR practitioner in the event of a crisis. Bear Icebox is fortunate enough to have senior-level leaders who have been through a number of crisis situations across a variety of industries.
Q: Are there any guidelines for when it is appropriate to pause marketing, PR and communications efforts during a crisis?
A. It is crucial to keep PR and communications efforts afloat during a crisis. Most likely, the efforts will pivot to containing the crisis and, later, determining a path forward to create goodwill and positive stories that reach the target audience impacted by the crisis.
Q: How do I ensure that my messages remain consistent and accurate amongst all channels while managing a crisis?
A. This is where your key messaging will really need to be polished and up to date. Get your organization on the same page immediately. In the meantime, make sure no one is posting or sharing anything that has not been approved or discussed.
Talk to us today to learn more about what we can do for your brand to drive awareness and help you find the honey jar you’ve been looking for with all the other agencies and campaigns you’ve run before. It’s time for some real organic honey.
“We started working with Bear Icebox after launching our New York office. Through our core messages, they’ve landed useful press coverage and contributed to ebooks, trend reports, infographics and blogs. We’ve seen nice increases in web traffic and online leads.”
Mikko Honkanen Co-Founder of Vainu
“The work Bear Icebox has done for Acrelec resulted in an increase in awareness for our products and services. We’ve seen an increase in the number and quality of media placements which directly brought in more sales for the brand. Our engagement with followers on social media has boomed too.”
Reda El-Khayer Global VP of Marketing of Acrelec
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