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Crisis Management: Why You Need a Good PR Strategy

A woman with a laptop stands at a podium speaking to an audience of people.

Crisis management plays an important role in public relations and is a crucial aspect of any PR strategy. When issues or incidents turn into a crisis and put the existence or reputations of companies in jeopardy, effective crisis communications can help to reduce the impact.

Having a plan or strategy in place can protect your business, brand, and professional image. You can avoid saying the wrong things or nothing at all. In these situations, time is of the essence. If you fail to act quickly, it becomes increasingly difficult to reverse any damage done.

The importance of consulting a professional PR agency for crisis management should not be overlooked. So, what benefits are there to using a crisis communications specialist to manage your crisis communications?


What is Crisis Management?

Back in 2022, a CIPR survey found that seven out of ten had a plan for crisis communications within their business. While this was a decrease from 2021, it’s a good sign that the majority of businesses are prepared. However, for the remaining 30%, what precautions are in place should the worst happen?

An integral component to any crisis management is crisis communications. This can take many forms but ultimately involves PR professionals coordinating effective responses to ease potentially damaging situations. The scenarios vary and so will the responses required so there is no ‘exact science’ to successfully communicating during a crisis.  

With the instantaneous nature of modern news, it is vital to have a crisis management plan in place for your communications. This allows you to address situations in a timely manner with a confident, unified response. Management should keep in mind that an effective response coordinates both internal and external comms.

This process doesn’t just stop once the immediate crisis is over. It also involves post-crisis comms to show customers, stakeholders, and team members that recovery is underway. It helps to further protect brand image by showing they are following through on the actions set out in the initial response.


How PR Plays a Part in Crisis Management

Public relations professionals are trained and well-versed to manage situations gone awry. All businesses should consider coordinating with a PR agency to assist with a crisis communications response. It’s also good practice to consult with a PR professional prior to any big launches, business changes or campaigns. They can help predict and prepare for any negative responses and advise on how to deal with them appropriately.

Media Relations

Equipped with media training, a PR professional will know exactly what to say, when and to whom. From the outset, they can take control and reshape the narrative that is forming around the company or scenario. They will either stand in as a spokesperson or advise a company representative on how to comment and respond.

Control the Narrative

Public relations professionals are as much about boosting a company’s brand image as they are fending off any negative associations. It is their job to shape the narrative around the brand to appeal to a broad audience and protect the company reputation. They add the vital ‘human’ element to all of their responses, merging communications between all elements in the business. While they will know how to differ the structure and tone directed at each group, the message will always be aligned.

As most businesses are now facing an online audience in these situations, this also applies to social media. PR professionals can craft responses suitable for online platforms that mirror your wider response. They can work with your social media managers to ensure an overall message goes out.

Rebuilding Reputation

In every crisis management situation, a company’s reputation can come under fire. An issue or incident which becomes a crisis can breach all of the trust and credibility that a brand has painstakingly built over a number of years. After the situation is resolved, post-crisis communications will see PR professionals actively working to gather support and restore public sentiment.

Depending on which route you took to resolve the situation, a long-term view may not be required. However, in instances where promises have been made or there will continue to be aftershocks, audiences will be waiting. Further responses, a longer communications plan, or working long-term with a PR professional can be of benefit.


Crisis Management and PR Comms

DCA has a team of highly experienced and respected PR and marketing professionals. We have been providing communications and PR services for over 20 years as a buffer between our clients and the media.

In that time, our clients have relied upon the strength and quality of our networks across media, business, and political communities. Whether it is local, regional, or national news, our contacts combined with our full range of PR channels can track down stories and widen our output reach.

A Director is always on call to our clients, 24/7, 365 days a year as standard. Should a crisis arise, someone is on hand to assist with out-of-hours enquiries, client emergencies and PR crisis management.

Find out more about the communications and public relations services we offer, and the media training we can provide to help prepare you. Get in touch today.


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