5 Things Communicators Should Focus on During Crisis

PR crises are unpredictable. And when they hit, companies are often left scrambling without a plan. In the heat of the moment, when the media spotlight is blinding and the pressure to act is enormous, it is often difficult to focus on the right strategy.

Luckily, some of the crisis communications’ best practices can be applied in almost every situation. Here are 5 things you should remember when dealing with a PR crisis:

1.    Identify and communicate with your key audiences.
The single most important aspect of an effective crisis PR response is the ability to promptly inform your key stakeholders. To do that, you’ll need to make a list of your key audiences and identify the most effective and appropriate ways to keep them informed.

2.    Create a response plan.
Ideally, you should have a crisis response plan in place before an actual crisis. But even if you don’t, creating a general plan of action and assigning responsibilities will bring some order to the chaos of dealing with an unexpected PR emergency.

3.    Be ready for multiple scenarios.
We’ve said it already, but it’s worth repeating again: PR crises are unpredictable. When mapping out your strategy, be sure to consider multiple scenarios for every action you take. Stay on high alert, and be ready for some creative problem solving when things don’t go according to plan.

4.    It’s never just about you.
Crises often deal significant damage to organizations, even when they are not at fault. However victimized you might feel about an incident, remember – it’s never just about you. Your crisis response should focus on your stakeholders and those who might also be affected.

5.    Don’t lie.

Lies never help, period. Sooner or later, the truth will come out on top. If your organization is at fault, own up to it, apologize and take steps toward resolving the situation.

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