How should you handle a PR crisis?
Goldman McCormick PR is a public relations company New York, NY organizations rely on for short term and long term needs, including crisis management. Any company or group can undergo a difficult chapter than may only get worse if not handled correctly from the onset.
New York media can be brutal when covering stories about companies in hot water, or perceived hot water. But when the company in question stays silent in the hope that the public will forget or ignore the gossip and accusations, it rarely works. Goldman McCormick PR knows from experience that getting in front of a story, playing offense instead of defense, is often the best strategy to win the fight as well as the war.
As a successful New York public relations company, we invite you to give us a call and discuss your situation with one of our partners. We very well may be able to help you turn lemons into lemonade. In the meantime, here are some steps you might want to take, though the particulars will vary from one situation to the next.
- Determine who should be part of your PR crisis team. This can be done before any crisis ever erupts. Regardless of timing however, you want people on your team who are intimately familiar with the company, including its history.
- At least one senior decision maker is a good choice.
- If you have legal counsel, include them.
- A public relations company New York, NY offers such as Goldman McCormick PR who has relationships with all major media from print to radio to television.
- Appoint a spokesperson to represent your company to the media. Many organizations hire a person in this capacity as a matter of day-to-day operations. However, when a crisis erupts, the spokesperson you choose must be tailored as much as possible to the problem at hand. This is a challenging role. Ideally, they will able to do the following with ease:
- Work with the public relations company in New York, NY of your choosing to vocalize the messaging that is critical to win in the court of public opinion. From an ethical and legal point of view, they must be able to speak honestly under pressure without placing your company at greater risk.
- They must be familiar with the issue at hand enough that they can adeptly respond to media questions that are unanticipated despite however much preparation is done beforehand. However, a public relations company New York, NY companies turn to for guidance can work with your spokesperson to prepare them as much as possible.
- Experience being in front of cameras and talking on point is preferred. Many excellent public speakers do very well until or unless cameras are pointed at them. It’s a curious fact but one to keep in mind when choosing your spokesperson. A public relations company New York, NY clients recommend without hesitation can perform mock interviews on camera to help your spokesperson feel more at ease. This is invaluable for one-on-one interviews as well as press conferences.
- Monitor the court of public opinion and information or conjecture about your company. All too often a crisis seems to explode, when really, it began as a thin wisp of black smoke. If the company had noticed the smoke, it could have prevented it from developing into a fire or worse.
- Appoint someone within your company to monitor social media for mentions of the company on a daily basis. If a crisis develops, increase that monitoring time to hourly or even by the minute, if necessary. This designated person needs to be familiar with all types of social media even if your company does not have an account on all platforms. A public relations company such as Goldman McCormick PR can do this on your behalf, saving you money in the long run because we have systems in place to do this very thing. The alternative is to dedicate an employee to perform this task, which is important, but it takes them away from their other job duties.
- Respond to issues as they surface, rather than ignoring them. It’s important to remain professional, courteous, and helpful when answering comments or questions. Above all, do not be defensive, evasive, or angry.
- Use a holding statement to reassure stakeholders and the public that your company is making every reasonable effort to deal with the issue and that you take this matter very seriously. A holding statement usually includes a temporary approach to solving the problem and a general reference to a long term approach though the latter can be significantly more vague.
Goldman McCormick PR
If your company is considering working with a public relations company New York, NY provides, call us today at (516) 639-0988 to find out how we can help you.