With Crisis PR You Don’t Need to Panic…Call Kinetic and Carry On
Paula Folz Writer
Let’s face it. It happens. If it hasn’t happened to your company or organization yet, you can make a safe bet that at some point it will. A PR crisis occurs when negative events, reviews or some internal or external occurrence threatens your brand reputation. This doesn’t have to be some crazy conspiracy or scandal. Bad PR is more often the product of careless social media posts, accidents or even inadvertently finding yourself involved in some issue that inspires real passion and emotion in community members.
So yeah, at some point, you’ll likely face it, but we’re here to tell you that how your company responds can make a huge impact in the overall outcome.
And, we’re here to help.
Every company should be prepared for the inevitable public relations crisis — data breach, negative review or even a poorly planned marketing campaign.
Because here’s the thing: It’s all about protecting your brand reputation.
A crisis will very likely take you by surprise. This is why you should have a PR crisis communication plan and team in place BEFORE you need them. You really can’t wing a response; you’ll need strong messaging, social media monitoring and more.
Most importantly, prior to facing any PR fiasco, you need a strong understanding of your brand reputation and the perception people have of your company, culture and quality of services. You can’t protect something if you don’t know what it is.
PR crises are seriously disruptive, damaging and dangerous to your company’s viability. The growing popularity of social media means that a crisis can go viral in an instant.
It probably goes without saying that any organization is better able to handle a crisis when they have a:
- Crisis management plan
- Designated crisis management team
- Pre-drafted crisis messaging and collateral
Crisis Management Planning
We will work with your team, conduct primary research (internally and with stakeholders) to gain a full grasp of your organization’s current reputation. We will then develop a crisis management plan (CMP) that lays out best practices and identifies strategies unique to your company like key contacts, allies and most effective media outlets/social media to engage with.
We will also look for areas in which a PR crisis is most likely to arise — whether it’s due to the nature of the work you do (e.g., political, environmental or an industry where injuries are more common). We’ll also look at your social media presence and make recommendations.
Public relations can also play a critical role in preparing spokespersons for handling questions from the news media, community members or participants in a Facebook live event, per se. While we are not usually your spokesperson, we provide training, talking points and support.
Again, as part of your CMP, we will pre-draft versatile and compelling messaging that will could be used during a crisis. These are more like templates that would include statements by top management, news and press releases and social posts with areas where key information is easily populated when appropriate.
When a crisis hits, people want to know what happened, and all the news media will lead the charge to become the key source of initial crisis information. This is another reason why having a plan and team in place is so crucial. This is your story to tell. You’ve got to lead and control the narrative.
As part of your plan, consideration will also be given to your website, intranet and social media platforms. In being proactive, crises are minimized and brand/company reputations are salvaged.
How can Kinetic Help?
To be fair, that lends itself to a book rather than a blog… but there are some key and important points here. First, all crises begin negative to varying degrees, but we know that effective crisis management minimizes the damage and often we’ve seen our clients emerge stronger than before.
But no organization or business is immune from a crisis so we encourage our clients to do their best to prepare for one. A company’s brand reputation is an invaluable, intangible asset and is worth investing in and protecting.
When a crisis hits you really need three things:
- A team who already knows you and understand your business.
- A plan and a team of PR professionals who are at the ready to execute it quickly, effectively and accurately.
- A friend. Often when our clients face a crisis they are in a place so overwhelming that thinking strategically and objectively isn’t a thing. We do that for you by thinking holistically about short and long-term impacts, creating empathetic messaging and helping you maintain control of the community conversation.
Please reach out for a consultation if you’re interested in learning more. Or want to see how crisis PR Kinetic-style looks in real life? Check out our case study!
She loves languages, adventure and travel. She loves to explore new perspectives and learn about diverse life experiences. Those are terrific qualities for a copywriter, and Paula Folz puts them to work for clients every day. Her decade of experience in marketing and proposal management in the architecture/engineering industry adds even more insight.
She’s excelled at copywriting for years, but with Kinetic clients, “I get to be more creative than ever before. In many ways, this is cultural tourism as I learn about incredible companies that we get to work with on a deep level.” Paula, from Casper, Wyoming, earned a BA in Spanish at the University of Wyoming, where she also did graduate studies in Communications/Marketing.Read more about Paula