4 steps to quell an online crisis

Online firestorms can form at a moment’s notice, and PR pros need to react quickly. Here’s how you can do so successfully. 


An online crisis can happen at any moment, and it’s important for you and your team to know how to respond when that happens.

Brand managers that are prepared with a proper plan and are ready for the storm before it arrives can come out of crisis situation without losing the reputation of the company or client

Here are a few tips to get everyone prepared and ready to go for a crisis when it strikes:

1. Put a team in place with clear roles and responsibilities.

This could be members from your communications, investor relations or human resources departments, along with senior management and legal counsel.

It’s important to assign roles and tasks before a crisis hits so that information can be dispersed quickly. Establishing roles ensures your team won’t do or say something that will only cause a bigger reputation nightmare.

2. Have a response procedure in place.

Every situation is different, but having general guidelines helps alleviate bottlenecks and makes your messaging more efficient and quicker to get to the public.

This becomes paramount in the onset of a crisis situation, where responses must be given immediately through social media channels.

3. Practice.

You should know the typical type of crisis that might hit your company.

Create crisis simulations that will test your team members to make sure that they know what to do and how to handle a situation that is thrown their way.

4. Review your plan.

Keep it up to date; don’t just set it and forget it. Make sure to check in and evaluate the plan on an ongoing basis, and update it as need be.

Hopefully your crises are few and far between, but keeping these tips in mind will help you prepare for the next one that hits.

Steven Melfi is an account director at Affect. A version of this story originally appeared on the firm’s YouTube channel.

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