If you’re reading this, and happen to own or operate a small business or large corporation, we’re willing to bet you’re curious about media holding statement 101.
No business is immune to the need for smart public relations crisis management. If you sell food, assume your customers might get sick. If you sell cars, assume the brakes will fail. If you house sensitive financial information, assume it will be compromised. If you sell medicine, assume it may have unanticipated side-effects.
The permutations are endless, but the sure-fire way to escalate your business’s crisis situation is to be caught flat-footed — or, in a PR crisis, with both feet in your mouth.
In other words, no matter how many weeks you’ve spent analyzing the weak points in your supply chain, setting up a war room to monitor media fallout, preparing for reporters through media training, or anticipating how critics and competitors will leverage a crisis against you, all your efforts are wasted without a proper holding statement ready for release.
Each holding statement is unique for a particular business, but the basic principles are the same. The holding statement must address the crisis head on and without any doublespeak, acknowledge that something wrong is going on, offer immediate information, and resolve to address the media and public again once all the facts have been collected. And, most importantly, you must show sincerity, genuine concern and appreciation for the crisis situation.
Apply this general approach when your business needs to speak, and you will buy the precious time necessary for a more coordinated, concentrated response to any problem factors that may arise.