Public Relations–Crisis Communication

In the Public Relations field, every day is something new.  With this comes relaxing days, but it also comes with hectic days.  Many of these hectic days are credited to crisis communication.
Crisis communication is a part of Public Relations that is designed to help a client not only face the public challenge at hand, but to face it well.  Unexpected situations are bound to arise, and you must be prepared to handle them when they do.
In many crisis communication situations, you are often dealing with something that could be detrimental to a client’s reputation if not handled correctly.  It is our job to make sure that this does not happen—and it can be broken down into four simple, yet crucial steps.
1. KEEP CALM.  No one is going to benefit by reacting in a frantic manner and slapping something together quickly for a client.  Stay composed and take things one step at a time.
2. EVALUATE THE SITUATION.  How severe is the situation?  What needs to be done to “smooth” things over?  Make sure you have all of the details before you start to develop a plan.
3. HAVE A PLAN OF ACTION BEFORE YOU RESPOND.  Responding before having a plan of action is a recipe for disaster.  It will only cause chaos and confusion, the very two things you are trying to avoid.  Carefully articulate a plan in a timely manner so the client can react accordingly.
4. STAY ON MESSAGE. Once you have a clear message, do not stray from it. Screen-shot-2014-02-13-at-10.45.43-AM
Crisis communication is never easy, but it is something that firms like Bravo inevitably deal with on a daily basis.  No matter how severe the situation is, a crisis is a crisis and must be handled in a professional and organized manner.  New day, new crisis: the Public Relations world.
Marsha Reisinger
Bravo Group, Pittsburgh Intern

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