In the age of communicative technology, information of all types can get to customers and the press in an instant. This can be a good thing, but when the information involved is about something bad that happened within your company, it can create a PR headache. So, how can you not only fix the issue but diminish the impact? Here are a few ways of keeping a good business reputation when a PR crisis occurs.
Take Responsibility for What Happened
Most PR strategies end the minute they begin. This is because most will start by not taking responsibility for the issue at hand. Once you deny all wrongdoing, it can quickly turn not only your employees but customers at you. They will see this as the evidence that you are not taking it seriously or don't want to face it, thus making anything else obsolete.
Follow the Example of Other Organizations
As the saying goes, if you want to do something correctly, look at those who have done it already. This means that your team must look at other companies that have dealt with similar situations. Research what they did right as well as what they did wrong. These actions will even have introduced different business policies and laws. Take the Catholic Church, for example. They’ve had a lot of issues with clergy abuse, but a good law has come out of it. According to WB & T, the New Clergy Abuse Statute of Limitations for Adult Abuse allows survivors of clergy abuse better opportunities for justice and will hold clergy members more accountable for their actions. As another example, when Tylenol had their scandal in 1982, it resulted in tamper-proof lids that made medicine safer—both from those with ill intentions and from curious children.
As Prezly suggests, once you've taken responsibility, fixed the issue, and made sure everyone is on board, your job isn't done just yet. Errors can still be made after the fact, and thus it is important to monitor your progress. These may include meetings with department heads as well as private conversations with your floor employees. This data can also be used to make sure that this type of situation doesn't happen again. Patterns of negativity are far more noticeable when you monitor your progress.
A public relations crisis can truly be a nightmare for a company. Not only are you having to spend time and resources re-building your image, but your revenue loss can be hit critically. Therefore, it is incredibly important for business leaders to have a plan in place even before a PR situation arises. Adhere to the list above for the best approach to an issue such as this.
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