Crisis communication is an incredibly important part of PR. When a crisis occurs within a firm the effects can be disastrous if it is not managed immediately and correctly. The easiest example to look at is a very current event happening in the Gulf of Mexico. Major oil players have made massive mistakes and have to publicly deal with the large list of collateral damage that is a result of their negligence. PR crisis communication plays a big role in their social responsibility to deal promptly in a professional manner with this disaster.

The first step is to plan. Have a crisis plan set for certain scenarios. If you are prepared you will loosen the “grip” and allow yourself to make sound decisions that should ultimately save your reputation and a positive relationship with your key public.

There are 3 R’s in crisis communication. Research, response, and recovery. If the three R’s are respected during times of crisis a firm should be able to pull itself out of a mess and make things right. Research the crisis environment: who it affects, why, and what can be done. Responding rapidly, and releasing the correct (truthful) information is key. It is paramount that a PR firm puts all the important information on the line, tell it how it is.

After you have disclosed all pertinent information and fully apologized, get back to work. Strengthen the relationships you still have and create strong, long lasting new ones. The best thing that you can do is resolve the situation and keep moving forward. Don’t act like it never happened but if you let it stop you from moving in a positive direction then you might as well quit.

This has been another TOW by Casey Sherwin.