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6 PR Tips For Crisis Management

Our 46Mile President, Chris Raniere, and Fineman PR’s Executive Vice President, Travis Taylor, co-authored this articlethat was featured in O’Dwyer’s PR Magazine’s 2018 Crisis Issue.

The article, “The Death Of The Siloed Crisis Response” covers 6 helpful tips for handling your comapany’s PR when things don’t go according to plan.

Here’s a taste of the article:

Not everyone is cut out to handle a crisis. The deluge of cynical media coverage, a rise of brand detractors and a surge of social media haters can overwhelm even seasoned PR pros.

Fortunately for your brand, that’s not you. Unfortunately, not everyone is like you, and that’s a problem with lasting implications, especially among team members unfamiliar with crisis communications.

Sensitive situations — e.g., injuries, fatalities, criminal investigations, litigation, product recalls, sexual misconduct, activist protests and corporate malfeasance — can trigger negative publicity. While PR pros tend to focus on turning the tide of media coverage, the lack of a cohesive multi-channel response can keep the story rising from the dead, long past the news cycle.

Internal communications, social media, reputation management, SEO, executive positioning and stakeholder engagement all play critical roles in crisis response and reputation recovery.

Internal communications usually intensify during and immediately after a crisis. Because employees and board members are often your most effective ambassadors, if you wait until a crisis strikes before developing and managing strategic internal communications programs, it’s too late. Once the crisis passes, consider revamping your internal communications processes to build trust among employees and board members and prepare the ship to weather the next storm.

Social media mavens are generally wired to promote good news, but a bad review or menacing troll, let alone a crisis, can short circuit their reactions. Cookie-cutter responses and canned messaging don’t sit well with people who follow and react to crises on social media. So, just as with internal communications, if you haven’t built relationships with your social media communities, you’re already behind the curve. Work now to earn influencers’ favor. Use content lulls to lift the veil on transparency initiatives and tout advances and investment in safety, training and technology. Brand loyalists will take note and respond to trolls on your behalf — when they’re equipped with the tools to do so.

Google Search is the well-heeled stranger lurking in the shadow of every crisis.

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