The dreaded “C” word no PR professional likes to hear – crisis. Come to think of it, no one likes to hear the C-word. A crisis in the economy, a mid-life crisis, a political crisis, a medical crisis from which there is no recovery. None of these are pleasant, by any means. But, in PR, the crises we deal with are disastrous for our clients and for our careers if handled poorly.
But, I don’t want you to think of crises as all gloom and doom – at least, not in the PR world. Think of crises instead as opportunities to show your clients how much you really can handle. Show them the cool, clear-headed, rational mind you have on your shoulders, with skills honed for just such a crisis. Here’s a quick crash course in PR crisis control. Step by step, keep these tips in mind. You’ll get through your next crisis with ease.
Crash Course in PR Crisis Control
Gather all the facts.
If you don’t know all the details, you’re bound to overlook one that is vitally important for the situation. It can be tempting to rush off and tackle the first aspect of the crisis you can see, but taking inventory first will help out in the long run.
Make a priority list.
Keep yourself organized and on top of everything going on around you with a checklist. Make the list in order of importance, and force yourself to stick to it.
Rope in any help you can find.
You’ll need a team to properly execute your PR crisis control plan of attack. Become a master of delegation, and assign jobs to those who are best suited for it. Make use of everyone at your disposal, and, when possible, free up yourself. That way, you can handle any additional duties you didn’t see coming.
If you can present your client with a calm demeanor, you might be able to relieve them of some panic. Nothing will be solved by falling to pieces, but you might solve something by remaining calm and executing your PR crisis control plan without a doubt – at least, not a doubt that anyone else can see.
PR is all about immediacy. Be in the moment. No one likes a crisis, but look at them as opportunities to show your clients how capable you really are. You don’t have to look forward to crises, but take them as they come, seeing them as challenges. We know you’re up for it.