Media crises can happen whether you are a diligent business owner or a famous celebrity. In todays world of tweets that take seconds to write, but have resounding effects it has never been more important to ensure a prompt, effective response strategy to challenging business situations: whether directly aimed at you, at your business or as a knock-on effect on the wider industry (i.e. PIP crisis).
In the middle of the chaos, being defensive or argumentative is the last thing that you should be doing (even though understandably its what you feel like doing!). What happens if you react that way? I guarantee you will make a bad situation worse. Reacting negatively will result in more negative repetitive posts and criticisms. You dont want that do you? So keep cool, stand firm and do not stoop to their level.
No comment is a cliché and should not at all be a resort if you dont know what to say. It would be better to tell your audience that you are still in the process of assessing the whole situation and that you will provide your statement as soon as you have all the facts at hand. Of course, you wouldnt want to respond to hearsays or to something you are not even sure about. But please, dont ever say No comment for its as good as saying you are at fault and defensive.
One way to kill a crisis is to provide facts and essential information to moderate the speculations and mistaken details being conveyed to the public. There is nothing better than being transparent with them. If you made a mistake, so be it. But you have to admit it and explain further why it happened in the first place and what you are doing to work on it. Do not hesitate to show a little humility by saying youre sorry.
Also, show concern and compassion to the people involved. Instead of defending just yourself, its always best to help others be taken off the hook as well. It somehow gives the public the impression that you care about the other partys image too which can at least divert their attention.
Kill it by addressing the crisis right there and then. Who knows what could happen in the next hours and days? Addressing the situation immediately works best to limit the damage to you and to your business reputation. Letting the issue go on for days and weeks is simply not a good way to deal with it.
Being in a media crisis doesnt mean thats the end of it. PR can often have a fluffy reputation thanks to shows like Ab Fab it is a serious business and if you have no idea how to deal with a media crisis you need to draft in support to make sure that your business and reputation are completely watertight and you have clear guidelines in place for how to respond.
Are you going through the same difficult situation? Just go to http://kendrickpr.uk/ or follow me on twitter @jrkendrick.