How to handle a crisis
When the term “crisis communications” is thrown around, people usually think of some catastrophic event, such as the , Tylenol recall or a celebrity gaffe.
But for a PR professional, a regular run-of-the-mill day can hold many “mini crises” – or times where important decisions must be made on the fly. For example:
- An article is published, featuring an incorrect statement about your client”s business.
- There is a spelling error in an important presentation piece for a client event.
- A scheduled phone interview doesn”t happen because your source is unreachable.
While there are ways to eliminate the possibility of the above happening (another blog post), minor issues do come up – and it”s important to know how to handle them. Much like major crises, the following can help:
- Identify the situation – What exactly happened?
- Communicate – Tell everyone involved as soon as possible what happened. (This includes owning up to any mistakes that may have contributed to this.)
- Identify the solution – Tell everyone what you”re going to solve the challenge.
- Close the loop – When everything is resolved, let all parties know. (I always try to eliminate the need for someone to have to come back to me and ask, “Whatever happened with that?”)
Hopefully, there aren”t too many times that you”ll need to break out your crisis communication plan during your career – but the advice above will help you face the unexpected situations that WILL pop up as a PR professional.