No matter how committed a company is to keeping a good reputation, it is important to have a plan in place in case negative press should emerge. Whether it is something small and easily manageable, or a crisis that could threaten the survival of your company, here are some steps to take to ensure your company gets back into good standing.
Create a strategic plan
Creating an effective and competent plan within your company is necessary to avoid making further mistakes if you are facing a crisis. Preparing a manual beforehand that details how to handle different levels of crises is helpful so there is no confusion or ambiguity on how to handle the incident if it occurs. This will also help your team communicate with the media so that you avoid sharing too much and potentially making the situation worse.
Appoint a spokesperson
Appointing a spokesperson can be extremely beneficial to your company’s image. Someone who knows how to speak to the media and remain calm while facing pressing comments and negative questions can help alleviate the situation.
Apologize for any wrongdoings
It’s important to a company’s image that they recognize their mistakes and apologize for their wrongdoings. If a company is transparent with their customers and clients from the very beginning of a crisis, those audiences will be more inclined to trust that company again. In 2017, Pepsi released a controversial commercial with protest images that the public deemed as inaccurate and offensive. Pepsi addressed all customer complaints in a respectful manner and apologized for “missing the mark,” pulling all campaigns with the same theme from the market.
Avoid being defensive
All eyes will be on how your company and how they are going to handle negative press. With the internet being so easily accessible to anyone, there are going to be comments your company will want to defend themselves against. It is important to release a statement immediately to keep the public informed and show that your company is on top of handling the situation.
Learn from the Feedback
It’s important to listen to the negative feedback you may have received in a crisis situation and learn from your mistakes so they don’t happen in the future. Be transparent with your audience and outline the steps you plan to take to ensure you the situation never happens again, and then make sure you’re following those steps in the future.
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