PR crises have created problems for businesses for the past century. The Internet has made them even more prevalent. They can be very stressful to deal with, but will only get worse if they aren’t addressed. Fortunately, they can be properly managed if you understand how to do damage control.
How Do You Deal With Online PR Crisis?
Online publicity problems are inevitable. They can be overwhelming, but probably won’t ruin your business reputation if you take the right steps. Here are some strategies to follow.
Keep Lines of Communication Open
Failing to communicate is the worst mistake anyone can make. You will need to make sure the lines of communication are open. You don’t want your Internet connection to go down, especially if you have an online business. Make sure that you have a reliable power supply and are tapped into to all media channels.
Listen Before Speaking
You want to listen carefully to all criticisms before issuing a response. One of the biggest reasons companies face PR problems in the first place is that customers felt they didn’t listen attentively. You want to make sure the community realizes you are open to hearing their concerns and earnestly intend to address them.
Get Your Employers on Board
Your employees are the face of your company. You will need their support, enthusiasm and expertise to overcome the issues. They will need to work diligently to show customers your company is committed to dealing with the challenges. Communicate with them long before having a solution in mind.
Deliver on Promises
Business owners are met with disdain in today’s world. While many are honest and well-intentioned, a few bad apples have given the for-profit sector a bad name. The biggest issue is that many businesses make the same mistake as politicians – failing to follow-through on their promises. You will want to make sure that you are consistent with statements and follow through on promises.
Reach Out to an Expert
You may also want to work with a savvy reputation management expert such as Erich Hal Kaminsky. A professional reputation management company can help you understand the challenges you will face and provide actionable tips to address them.
Only Share Relevant Information
You need to provide information about the scandal. Answer questions from reporters and customers. Describe how the problem came about and don’t appear evasive.
However, you also need to make sure that you don’t share information that isn’t relevant to the problem at hand. People can read into irrelevant information, which will make you look guilty.