Rip up your PR Textbook: How to get real – and be effective – in a crisis - Goff Public


Rip up your PR Textbook: How to get real – and be effective – in a crisis

الخيارات الثنائية البرمجيات تجارة السيارات By: Jennifer Hellman, Goff Public

شركة ادميرال ماركتس In today’s Twitter-influenced world, where business leaders and elected officials – even POTUS – seem more accessible than ever before, overly rehearsed messages from talking heads are not well-received by the public. It’s time to banish boilerplate crisis response phrases like, “we take this very seriously,” and deliver messages during a crisis that are truly meaningful to key audiences. شركة بيفوركس Communicating in times of crisis is difficult. I’ve worked with many talented PR professionals who are rock stars at proactive communications and media relations, but find themselves at a loss when a crisis hits. That’s because crisis communications requires a shift in thinking. Unless a company experiences crises on a regular basis, chances are its public relations team hasn’t been in crisis mode for a while – if ever.

معلومات خاصة Combine that lack of experience with a world that is constantly changing. Having a top executive decked out in an expensive suit, reading formal, prepared remarks on camera no longer cuts it. Today we see leaders regularly delivering messages in real-time on social media. They share their opinions, communicate in their own words, and let us see who they are as human beings. We have become accustomed to this authenticity, and we expect it. Jen-PRBook-image

تداول الاسهم في بنك الاستثمار Creating an authentic message

When we hear that a restaurant “takes food preparation very seriously,” in response to an e-coli outbreak or that a financial institution “takes these allegations very seriously” in response to an employee allegedly stealing customer information, we want to scream, “Of course you do!”

Our basic expectation is that financial institutions safeguard our personal information and that restaurants undergo and pass regular food safety inspections. So when an organization doesn’t meet our basic expectations, its leaders must explain why.

This is where the legal team usually steps in. A lawyer should review all messaging in response to a crisis, but it must happen quickly, and it is the role of the public relations professional to filter out the legalese.

There is a tendency to not communicate publicly until we have all of the answers. There is also the constant – and real – fear of lawsuits. But we can say something without having every answer or getting the organization into legal trouble. If we don’t get the message out first, someone else will, and it is much more difficult to correct than to create.

Maybe the restaurant owners in the aforementioned example don’t know the source of the e-coli, but they can empathize with their customers who got sick. Instead of a message about taking food preparation very seriously, the restaurant could instead say, “We are very sorry that some of our patrons who recently ate at our restaurant are sick. We are doing everything we can to identify the source and will not reopen until we do. Our business depends on our customers having a positive experience. If the cause of their symptoms originated here, we will do everything we can to earn back their trust.”

This statement hasn’t admitted fault, but it has acknowledged that the restaurant owners are aware of the potential problem, they are addressing it, and they apologize that some of their customers – who they care about – don’t feel well.

Another example that executives commonly fear is the death of an employee while at work. If a death happens, they should say more than, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.” It is a nice sentiment, but we’ve heard it so many times that this statement alone feels impersonal.

What if they added some information about the person? They don’t have to immediately disclose a name, but they can say that the employee who lost his/her life was a good person who was appreciated. Try instead: “Today was a devastating day. We lost one of our own who showed up to work every day for the past seven years, ready to help, with a signature grin that many of his colleagues will always remember. Our hearts are heavy, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family.” Setting your spokesperson up for success

Not every crisis requires a spokesperson, but when it does, selecting the right person is just as important as creating well-crafted messages.

Even the most genuine person can seem formal and uncomfortable in front of a camera. Being a good spokesperson takes training and practice. That doesn’t mean that spokespeople have been trained to act. Instead, they are trained on the often awkward art of giving a media interview, so that when it happens, they focus less on the mechanics and more on the message – positioning them to be their authentic selves.

One of the most rewarding parts of my job as a communications professional is helping an organization in crisis. This is when good judgement and sound advice are most critical and most valued. If done well, organizations are judged more for their response to the crisis than on the crisis itself. If that response puts people first and is delivered in an authentic and timely way, the organization and its reputation may emerge stronger than ever.


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