Crafting a Public Relations Disaster Plan
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Crafting a Public Relations Disaster Plan

Posted on: October 29, 2013 by in Business Building
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If you’ve had to weather an online PR crisis with no plan in place to deal with it, then you already know how important it is to have one. Nowadays when bad news travels so quickly, you really don’t have the luxury of “getting to it later”. Your brand may already be sinking before you even begin bailing! Dealing with a public relations crisis online takes agility, clear thinking and above all, a plan. Let’s look at some of what needs to be in that plan!

How your business can survive an online PR disaster

Here are a few items to integrate into a plan to get you through the inevitable errant post, tweet or video.

  • Have clear posting guidelines - If employees are left to their own devices, often they can offend without intending. Having clearly established posting guidelines for social media and especially YouTube is a wise way to ensure that everyone is working off the same page. Of particular importance is what needs to happen in the event of a problem, and what to do when this occurs.
  • Don’t try to hide - Trying to act is if nothing has happened is a strategy all right, but for disaster! Be sure to remove the offending content as rapidly as you can, and make sure to not only be all over it, but to answer intelligently and proactively to the problem. This is the best way to limit harm to your brand.
  • PR disaster code of conduct - Not only should you not hide from said disaster, but you must be the very definition of sincerity, and professionalism. Don’t seek to deflect blame, or fire back at the offended party. Be sure and take ownership of the situation, and respond with civility even though every fiber of your being really wants to sling mud! Also, make sure to not use canned messages in response to this type of problem: All this says is you’re either not prepared to deal with it or you simply can’t be bothered!

There are several more examples of what we’re talking about here. Making a plan to deal with a PR crisis shouldn’t be something you’ll “get to later”. Do it now, so you’ll have it in place when the need arises!

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