What Not to do During a PR Crisis
When creating and executing your media-response strategy, our expert sources warned against the following tactics business opportunities. Lashing out, Even if the opposing party has said something completely false about your company, it is never a good idea to respond negatively or blame the complainant for the situation, Mathis said. “You need to think strategically and put any emotions on the back burner,” she added.
Offering “no comment”
Not having answers to potential questions is the worst thing you can do during a crisis, said Nierman. But, sometimes, you truly can’t give a good answer with the information you presently have.
While using “no comment” is better than making something up just to give an answer (which our sources agreed is never the right choice), it’s easy to see how this phrase can be misconstrued as trying to cover up or avoid an issue. If you don’t have enough information to give a solid response, say so, and assure the person asking that you will issue a statement when you have more details.
Responding too quickly or too slowly
Handling a PR crisis is all about timing. You don’t want to give a premature response before you have all the facts, Gault said. Having to backtrack or contradict previous statements later could further damage your reputation. Delaying your response time won’t do you any favors either.
Dwelling on the situation
Mathis reminded business owners that the news cycle is short, and the situation will almost certainly blow over. A period of “bad” press is often just a hiccup on your path to success – you shouldn’t let it completely distract you from running your business. People can forgive and forget your mistake, but they won’t forget how you conducted yourself in the process, she said.
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