Top 3 Extremely Important Responses to a PR Crisis
Well planned and executed public relations are integral to a solid marketing plan and the health of your business. After all, it’s the dialogue between company and customer that is so important to encourage loyalty and happy customers. Happy customers like to be heard, and that’s why when things go south, there are three important responses that need to be made.
Whether your business is being slammed with bad press for something legitimate or not, people want to know that you’re paying attention and have a plan. Your company’s response via press release, interviews, or social media needs to be well thought out and considerate.
Show You Care
Some businesses fail in the PR department when they decide to ignore an issue customers have with their product, services or employees. People are people and sometimes they really do complain about everything. The issue may not even be something that you can change or are willing to change, but it’s important to face it head on and show that you hear what people are saying.
When people know you’re listening to their complaints and are considering the consequences and issues involved, your company will look better in the long run for it. Showing sympathy for the feelings of your consumers is huge when trying to maintain a good reputation.
When there are problems going on, make it very clear to consumers that there are changes happening. Keep them updated and involved in the process because they will not only feel important and valued; you’ll get their feedback throughout the process. This feedback could be extremely valuable to implementing the right changes that will take your company to higher levels.
Good PR in the face of crisis means communicating often and effectively to customers and keeping them in the loop. If they send in comments, make sure they get a response that thanks them and assures them it will be passed along. If they post a review, thank them for their input and ensure that their opinion matters. After feedback like this, always keep people in the loop as to why you’re making changes. If you roll out a new policy or feature, attribute it to “high demand” or inform people that “due to your comments and concerns we made ___ decision.”
Stick to Your Values
On the flip side of things, too many companies are way too quick to change policies and decisions based on a few comments or a popular opinion. If it truly goes against your business values or plan, don’t cave to every demand or complaint. Be a company that considers everything and values opinions but sticks to its guns when it comes down to important decisions. Be sure to communicate this to clients via your mission statement and renewed promises to your customers to do your best for them within your boundaries.
Ultimately, it all comes down to showing you care. Every situation in the PR world is different, and they can all be pretty messy in many ways. What’s important to remember is that people simply want to know they aren’t talking to a brick wall. Express concern, be willing to change and have a backbone. You got this kids!