A pr disaster is something that can be devastating to your business. It can damage customer trust, scare off potential clients or discomfit investors. It can even crush your reputation or halt an emerging brand.
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The best way to avoid a PR crisis is to build out your reputational capital. This might be through strong corporate social responsibility behaviours or customer brand loyalty founded on consistently good service.
It might also be through a company’s environmental policies and commitment to sustainable development. However, it is important to recognize that a negative PR crisis can happen at any point in the lifecycle of your business and you should prepare yourself accordingly.
In today’s hyper-connected digital world, a misstep can quickly become a major PR disaster. Cyber security breaches and employee or executive misconduct are common catalysts for public criticism and trolling across social media.
A PR disaster can happen to any organization, from a government agency to a private enterprise or an individual. Depending on the severity of the situation, your company may need to implement a triage strategy to determine which situations should receive immediate attention.
You can use a color coding system to categorize situations: green is for situations that won’t require any action by your organization, orange is for those that need immediate attention and red is for situations that could seriously affect your business revenue.
The best response to a PR disaster is to acknowledge the role your business played in the incident and to clearly communicate that it will take steps to prevent a similar issue from happening again. It is also important to respond to questions or allegations in a neutral manner and to make the statement sound sincere and contrite.