Our last post discussed five signs that your company will face a PR crisis. Let’s turn lemons into lemonade, and share five signs that your company will instead avoid a PR crisis.
• You know who your stakeholders are. Depending on how you generate commerce, your stakeholders — the people who care the most and will react swiftly to your business moves — must be front and center when it comes to messaging. Your particular stakeholders could be customers, clients, regulators, business partners, subsidiaries, parent companies, and so many more. If you’ve identified and prioritized stakeholders, you’ll know who needs (re)assurance before anyone else.
• You’ve got a holding statement in place. If/when things go bad, or from bad to worse, you’ve at least got some boilerplate language to help your company buy time until the next move. This language can help guide immediate press releases, talking points, social media content, and more.
• You’re monitoring social media posts. People can say a lot of nasty and awful things on a company’s official Facebook page. If you avoid letting such comments linger, you’ll likely prevent your social media channels from becoming lightning rods for criticism.
• You admit mistakes when they happen. Instead of stonewalling or ignoring the situation when your company steps in it, you quickly take control and explain immediate steps to make things better. Amazing how this process always seems to work, and yet some companies still fear owning the situation!
• You realize life goes on. If you were asked which of the following makes you think of Wendy’s restaurants — (1) “Where’s the beef?” or (2) the San Jose incident — you’ll likely go with 1. The San Jose incident was a very embarrassing media episode the restaurant chain faced in 2005, and seemingly one that should have doomed the restaurant for quite some time. And yet, chances are the 1980s’ mega-ad slogan will always prevail as top of mind when it comes to Wendy’s. In crisis PR, the bad will almost always inevitably pass. Best to let go of it and return to the core of your business.