Social media platforms have shifted the way that both customers and companies communicate with each other. This is especially true during public relations crises, as crises can both develop and escalate on social media platforms, and companies must be mindful of how they and the rest of the world will respond to such situations. There are some specific strategies that companies can rely on during any negative situation or public relations crisis that will mitigate the PR crisis more effectively.
Social media policy
The first thing that companies need to do before a crisis even happens is create a social media policy for all employees. Companies can’t predict any public relations crisis. But, they should always be ready to face any sort of situation like that. Having a social media policy in place for employees helps companies figure out the best way to respond to situations. That means companies must document any communication strategies that they will be using during a crisis. Then, figure out a way that they can approach and handle social media platforms.
A great way to create a social media policy is to have an up-to-date contact list for emergency situations. Plus, guidelines will help the company identify the scope of the public relations crisis. There should also be an approval process for the response strategy for the company. Additionally, it needs an internal communication plan for the company’s employees.
During a PR crisis, the best way for a company to navigate such situations is through openness, honesty, transparency, and compassion. Companies are always investing time and effort into creating ways to develop stronger and more trusting relationships with their target audiences. That shouldn’t stop during times of crisis. By being transparent on the issues that the company is struggling with and taking responsibility, companies will have an easier time navigating any sort of crisis.
Once a company has made its public statement regarding the public relations crisis, there should always be room for questions. Most people are going to have additional questions about the situation. The best way to navigate such situations is to be clear on the best way to reach out to the company. Then, the company needs to take the time to answer all those questions. Additionally, they need to provide the public with reassurance and engage with them. The last thing that a company should do is completely disappear from any communication channel. Especially one that has been previously used. That is the easiest way for a situation to get out of control and permanently damage a company’s reputation with the public.