Relations between PR and media reap better benefits for brands | Part 3 |
Geeta Singh | May 13, 2019 | Public Relations
Accept it; some things are out of your control, no matter the efforts.
Susceptibility to the crises is in the nature of businesses. From streetside grocery stores in Delhi to multinational companies in the Silicon Valley of India, almost every business is hedged in by some sort of crisis at least once in a lifetime. Though a business may overcome the aftershocks, the publics do not that easily and early in the accelerated digital age.
For this, the management of the company needs to go an extra mile to recreate the ruined brand image and regain the lost customer trust. And, this extra mile often ends at the doorstep of Public Relations (PR) and media personnel.
Public Relations (PR) is one omnipotent strategy that can save a business many pains, backlash, and defamation by rightly communicating the brand message and the inside story. Pick any case study of the world’s biggest crises, and you’ll find numerous outstanding crisis responses that prove PR is a boon to them in disguise.
While there are ample reasons why PR is widely hailed as a must-have department in the business world, the best of all is that it cuts short the life of crises. By reducing scepticism through timely communication with media personnel and spreading the truthful words from the company amongst the masses, PR brings back the lost public trust.
Commonplace crisis communication strategies with which PR enlivens a brand through hard times include:
First things first—internal crisis communication is a must
When 32-inch tv screen is bombarded with not-so-good news about a brand, the concerned business leaders think of telling the entire story to the outer stakeholders in a great rush. But, PR has a better move for this, that is, first communication should always be with the employees. Don’t keep them in the dark about it because the journalists and media people can anytime contact any of the employees to fetch information. In ignorance, the employees can convey confidential information or partake in a detrimental interview. To avoid this, PR companies have a unique plan of action in which employee communication ranks on the top.
Must have bird’s- eye view on the online backlash
Any rumour or sensitive news spreads at a warp-speed amongst netizens than citizens. The wise PR thing to do? Keep a track on the online backlash. Only listen to them. Don’t respond to them unless the talks go serious and brand image vulnerable, and when you do, two sincere responses or apologies will work best. Be careful, the message has to be kept consistent across all the platforms. And yes, that should be devoid of any “ifs” and “buts” and should be purely apologetic. Press conferences and personal interviews are meant for further explanation and clarification. PR people just know how to prevent the ongoing negative publicity from intensifying.