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Quick steps to weather crisis situations effectively

CrisisDo you have a crisis communication plan in place to manage any fiasco in your company? Is it accessed and updated by the crisis communications team regularly or does it only exist in name?

For every organisation, crisis management is a critical function. PR firms have a crucial need for crisis management teams, and experts suggest that PR biggies should look beyond the conventional management practices to counter any incurring exigencies. It is true that improper handling of crisis management can damage the stakeholder’s interest as well as negatively impact the brand’s name and reputation.

Every organisation should update their crisis manuals regularly and undertake process rehearsals because every crisis demands an instinctive response.  After all, crisis management does not just emphasise upon an apologetic press release or the CEO’s appearance on TV. It affects stakeholders within and outside a company.

Like it or not, bad news travels fast and goes viral within minutes. Businesses should promptly respond to crisis and leverage all platforms to communicate with the audiences. In fact, companies should never distance themselves from mistakes and take responsibility for their actions. For stakeholders, the cause of the crisis does not matter. What does matter is how well the brand responds and handles the situation.

A crisis situation or PR fiasco impacts everyone – employees’ are taken aback, clients’ choose to disassociate themselves from the brand, directors are questioned, and competitors look for opportunities to make profit.

Leading PR agencies in India are of the belief that there’s no straightforward cure to crisis management, but there are a few key lessons that brands should learn to make things work in their favour.

Reputation is everything in today’s world. Every business enterprise should master the art of effective communication and align responses in accordance with the customer expectations. Vulnerability to a crisis is common these days.

For any PR agency to handle a crisis efficiently, it should be able to identify the potential threats and set up infrastructure in advance for successful crisis management. A crisis prevention plan is the best solution for those times when things go wrong.

Now, let’s take a close look at some of the possible ways to avoid disasters, prevent them from escalating or managing mishaps when situations go haywire.

Identify and engage with conversation drivers

Every PR agency offering crisis management services should realise that a social platform like Twitter playsthe role of a conversation tool and not just a mere one-way medium. During a crisis situation, identify the key influencers and engage with them to find relevant information.

Create result-oriented platform-specific messages

Every company needs to ensure that it is present where the crisis occurred. If a company’s YouTube channel is impacted, developing a video response is the best way to counter the negative impact.

Ensure brand presence across relevant social channels

Believe it or not, only less than one-half of the top 100 companies enjoy a presence on Pinterest. Ensure a widespread presence to be heard across maximum channels.

Use Twitter, it is quick and powerful

A recent study undertaken by the top PR firms in India suggests that over 45% of media practitioners prefer to use Twitter for sources.

Also Read: Building brand on Social Media

Consumers want to connect with real people and do not like interacting with logos

Identify those resources who will respond during a crisis on behalf of the company/brand.  Every business should aim to humanise their brand so that connecting with audiences isn’t cumbersome and a personal connect can be established at such times.

Integration plays a crucial role

Video is a powerful medium when utilised properly. If it is not shared with the audiences at the right time, the purpose of video creation is not served.

Choose your words carefully during a crisis

PR agencies are of the belief that businesses should know what to communicate during a crisis. Craft a thoughtful reply that aims to address the concerns of the audiences. Display your keenness to address the problems.

Accept your mistake

Communicate the truth and adopt an honest approach. A savvy business strategy should encompass facts. Never make excuses and avoid pointing fingers. Claim responsibility for mistakes committed and aim at fixing the problem promptly.

Conclusion

Having an effective crisis management plan in place helps to address complaints and restore the company reputation. It shows that a business/brand is driven by the commitment to serve consumers. A well-crafted crisis response along with an efficient recovery programme creates the right impression on stakeholders.

Also Read: Common PR disasters every start-up should avoid

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