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No comment screams guilty as sin
Chloe | April 25, 2012
Welcome to the first in a regular series of PR tips and advice, embracing the new world of PR and social media.
Admit it. We’re all guilty of reading about PR blunders in the news and thinking that will never happen to me. You know the sort of thing, where tasteless tweets become headline news or reality stars marry only to spectacularly divorce 2 and a half years later.
But don’t be so sure it won’t happen to you. With an ever hungry growing 24 hours news media and social media blurring the boundaries between private and public there really is no place to hide when the proverbial hits the fan.
Statistics reveal that most organisations will experience a crisis at least twice in a decade yet studies indicate that more than half of all organizations have NO crisis plan, and those that do fail to update them regularly.
What would you do if you woke up one morning and found that the phone wouldn’t stop ringing… Do you know who you would turn to in a crisis and if so do you have their number programmed into your phone. More importantly, do you have clear communication channels and a process agreed for emergency communications.
And could you act quickly? As someone important once said “It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Silence in these situations is rarely golden. You need to act quick. If you don’t then someone will quickly fill in the gaps for you and you will lose control of the message.
The first thing you need to do is establish the facts. And the second thing you need to do is work out how you can make it right. Issue a statement explaining what you will do to remedy the situation. Say sorry. And if you can’t say sorry because you are afraid of litigation you can empathize with the victims.
There’s nothing worse than a rabbit caught in the headlights. Make sure that you put forward a capable media spokesperson. Someone who has emotional intelligence and warmth. At this point you need to connect with your audience and a hesitant, defensive spokesperson will do more damage than good.
If you haven’t done your prep call in the experts. In fact call in the experts before the crisis happens – there’s no substitute for experience and planning when it comes to a crisis.
If you need an innovative social media plan, submit a brief now!
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