What are the important factors of crisis management through online PR?
- Establish the narrative
- Take responsibility
- Be understanding
- Reinforce the brand values
- Social Media becomes customer service
Modern advancements have reshaped how a public crisis should be handled. Because of this, companies have been prioritizing public relations management and leadership training in the Philippines more than ever.
Every company who has faced and won against a public relation (PR) crisis can vouch how the backlash could have affected their hard-built reputation. It is important to tackle every type of crisis as soon as possible since the internet community never sleeps. They tend to share issues that may be untrue and damaging to any company.
Let’s take a look at the fundamental cornerstones of crisis management in the age of the internet:
Establish the Narrative
Due to how accessible the Internet is, there is a frequent spread of false information that often times mislead users that do not fact check. Given a situation that your company receives defaming statements, immediate action is needed to prevent further damages. By doing what needs to be done instead of being stunned, the public will focus more on your company’s standpoint.
To make sure that the company’s side is properly conveyed to the public. There should be constant information dissemination on different social media platforms leveled in such a way that the target audience can relate, reflect, and engage.
When rumors are proven true, owning up and taking responsibility is better than keeping silent because it may create a false impression against the head of the company and may also add fuel to the fire.
Express how willing you are to solve the problem and how sincere your apology is.
Take responsibility and do not deny the allegations instead, release an online statement on how your company is trying to fix the situation.
The last thing you want is to have your company caught lying in the middle of a crisis. Lying is one of the easiest and best ways to destroy company reputation and make the damage irreversible. Thus, all PR staff should be committed to being transparent in their responses all the time.
To make sure your team is telling the truth, it can be helpful to partner with experts who can conduct thorough research on the situation and who were directly responsible for the crisis to happen. You have to always be certain that any information you have been sharing with the public is credible.
Reinforce the brand values
The crisis that occurred may have been the result of the lack of effort from the leaders into teaching their teams how to apply the core values in their daily operations and work relationships.
Conducting leadership training in the Philippines teaches every aspiring entrepreneur about the importance of brand values. In times of crisis, the public questions the brand’s values. Your company’s character will be continuously questioned.
Values such as integrity are core catalysts that guide your company’s actions regarding the crisis.
Social media becomes customer service
At any time of the day, consumers turn to post on social media when sharing their dissatisfaction towards brands. To counter this, PR departments should have a team that can dedicate hours of their workday communicating and answering the questions of upset and disappointed customers. They will essentially function as customer service representatives on the social media platform.
When it comes to solving negative feedback of social media users, these are the steps every Public Relation (PR) or Customer Service Relation (CSR) professional should look for:
Since part of the PR department’s responsibilities is to post online content for marketing and advertising, they are expected to be well-versed with the internet language. But to connect to their audience, they must learn to listen.
To effectively convert a PR disaster into a success, the PR professional should listen and understand where the customer’s dissatisfaction is coming from. Once you have a good understanding, you can finally come up with an appropriate response that will preemptively address concerns and grievances.
- Make distinguishable responses
Customers hate robotic answers. Whenever responding in social media, you need to address concerns in a grounded and human-like way to give them an impression that you are always hands-on and attentive to our customers. After all, your first objective when resolving the concern is to change their perception towards your company.
To make distinguishable responses, you should be empathetic. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers and think about how you want to be treated in that situation.
The internet has changed how PR professionals handle any and every kind of crisis. Social media and other platforms have made it easier for people to access and keep an eye on every move a company makes. Hopefully, these fundamentals of online crisis management are going to serve as the guiding measures on the proper actions to take when faced with any form of a PR crisis.