How to create an effective PR crisis plan

With the rate social media can spread news nowadays; a PR crisis can escalate for more quickly and far more widely than a company might anticipate. Bad news attracts attention, so if your company suffers a PR crisis it’s important to get a handle on it quickly and effectively.

As much as businesses use social media to spread positive messages and attract new customers, a negative issue can be spread equally quickly, destroying reputation and sparking fear among consumers – a damaged reputation can mean the end of a business in some cases.

Fast and effective PR crisis management

This is why it’s really important to have an effective PR crisis plan in place before anything goes wrong. Here at LCM Marketing, we can help to develop crisis PR plans for our clients, providing that peace of mind for when things go wrong.

Here is our quick guide to what you need to do to create an effective crisis PR plan for your business:

Carry out a risk assessment

Have a look at the issue at hand to make sure you don’t either overreact or under-react to it. Assess the threat it could make to your business and the potential for damage to your reputation.

Make sure you have all the facts

The key to responding effectively is to make sure you have all the facts. A PR crisis can often spark from inaccurate information, speculation and rumours which are not true. So make sure you have all the facts and figures which can counteract the issue to hand.

Identify your press spokesman

You need to have someone available to speak to the press and deal with inquiries – at LCM we can take that on for you, to give you some breathing space. But it’s important you have someone who can be the face of the response. Make sure they are professional and able to cope with the media.

Work with any other affected parties

If your business is being linked with another company or third party as part of the crisis, it’s important to work together and present a united front before reaction. If you both start to say different things, it could worsen the issue.

Keep records of the enquiries

Have somebody keep records of all press enquiries which come in, and the responses which are given, to ensure consistency and to make sure everyone is on the same page. It can also be useful for lessons learned and assessments once the crisis is over.

Handling a PR crisis takes a special set of skills, so if your business doesn’t feel it has those in-house – or indeed you don’t want to be completely distracted by the crisis – it is always wise to seek professional help, rather than risk your reputation and your business operation.

How can LCM help?

If you’d like help with setting up, or handling a PR crisis, please get in touch with us at LCM and we will be happy to talk through what you are trying to achieve. We will ask you guided questions to find out if you need our kind of input, or if another route is best for you.

Telephone 01489 891870 or email info@lcm.co.uk