Crisis Communication Firm & Crisis management

As one of the top crisis communication firms, PRLab works to train you in developing successful crisis management and communication strategies. We provide risk assessment and media training to help you execute and analyze your PR crisis plan. Through our training of PR in crisis management, we ensure you are prepared with the best plan, utilizing social media and pitching you to journalists to get your side of the story heard.

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What is Crisis Management in PR? Why use a PR Agency?

Crisis management strategies in public relations are a subspecialty of the public relations profession.

Their purpose is to protect and defend an individual, company or organization facing a public challenge to its reputation. Although this is a small aspect of what modern PR agencies do, it is still a very important one, particularly given the vulnerable position of startups compared to companies with established reputations.

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The nature of these scenarios are their element of surprise and ability to disrupt your current system or processes. This is why enlisting the help of a public relations agency to assist in managing these situations is wise. We will assist you in establishing a plan ahead of time so that you can quickly adapt to changing scenarios.. Every situation is unique and requires a tailored response, which is why ensuring your preparation by enlisting the help of a crisis communication agency is key.

Today's era of digital communication has greatly impacted both the manner in which a controversy arises and how we deal with it. Social media has created new ways for situations to emerge as information can quickly spread and go viral. However, it also offers more avenues through which a business can communicate with the public and manage the problem. This makes it easier to implement your prepared PR crisis management plan in a timely fashion, and continue building trust with your audience.
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Not every issue is a Crisis: the difference between Crisis PR and PR in times of Crises

While public relations and crisis management are strongly related, there is a distinction to be made between a PR crisis and doing PR in times of crises.

The former refers to when an organization or individual receives negative publicity that is damaging to their reputation and may result in a loss of public trust. There are three different types of PR crises you could be affected by.

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The victim type is when the organization is perceived as the victim in the situation, and as such, has little to no reputational threat. The accidental type requires more responsibility as these are scenarios where you are at fault, but the incident is unintentional. Lastly, there is the preventable type in which an organization holds the utmost responsibility. These situations are deemed intentional and are a result of human error, rule violation or product and service harm.

Whereas these are scenarios that arise and affect you and your organization specifically, PR in times of crisis is slightly different. This is when you or your industry as a whole is disrupted by a situation on a much larger, perhaps even global, scale. While these situations might not require an admission of responsibility or damage mitigation, it is essential to have a communication strategy ready should these scenarios arise. As a crisis communications agency, PRLab can help you develop strategies to be prepared for a public relations crisis.

PR in crisis management, step by step

1

Risk Assessment

The first step of crisis communication and public relations is to assess the risks to your business. You need to be prepared by conducting both an internal and external risk analysis, identifying any weaknesses in your business. The weakest parts of your business model, weak spots in your sales funnel, what’s lacking in your team and missing from your investments are all examples of weaknesses. 

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A necessary step of PR in crisis management is identifying these internal weaknesses in order to stay ahead of the curve.

It is also important to identify outside threats to your business. These are any external factors that can negatively influence your business, such as your competitors, any negative market trends and rising prices of any resources you need to run your business. No PR crisis plan is complete without a comprehensive understanding of the risk factors.

These risks could be amplified when a situation occurs. As we mentioned before, a key part of PR in crisis management is being prepared, so it is essential to create hypothetical scenarios for every possible risk factor. . Consider how they could affect your business and what your course of action will be in the event that these scenarios actually happen.

2

Creating a Plan of Action

After we have assessed the level of risk that a given scenario represents for you or your organization, we will devise a plan of action for PR crisis management. This is done by working closely with you to create a structured plan regarding the communication between your employees, the stakeholders, your customers, clients and the media

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The better understanding we have of your business and the core values of your brand, the better we can construct consistent messaging across all of your communication channels, which is an important facet of PR in crisis management.

The primary goal of effective communication is staying relevant. As one of the best crisis management firms, we will help you identify important areas to which your company can contribute that will mitigate the effects of a problematic scenario and position you in a positive way. This will be dependent on what type of scenario you find yourself in.

3

Media Training

At PRLab we can help you and your team prepare an effective media response in any event that calls for PR in crisis management. Having a spokesperson trained with the right skills to deal with the media is essential for your company to pull through a difficult situation. PR media training will teach you to have the right lines prepared, effective mannerisms, body language and other key skills necessary to effectively handle crisis communication with the media.

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PRLab’s media training helps you to be prepared to handle the spotlight in both positive and negative situations. We will help you develop a concise and relevant soundbite that will communicate your core message, and the bridging techniques required to set up for this soundbite and avoid difficult questions. Our media training methods are very effective and we will identify key messages and practice through role-play so you are confident in delivering your message, even when faced with a difficult situation such as a public relations crisis.

4

Issues Management

As well as preparing you for media attention, we will help you to contact journalists yourself. You may ask why you would want to go public in a time of catastrophe, and the answer is because the story is going to come out either way. If you take initiative, you get to take some control over the narrative and tell your side of the story, implementing your PR crisis plan early.

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As a top crisis communication agency, we will work together with your team to identify who we need to speak to and what channels we will use to communicate the planned response. Part of this will be the journalists who will publish your response as well as the internal communication within your team and stakeholders. It is necessary to keep everyone updated to avoid panic and the spread of misinformation in a public relations crisis situation.

Our integrated tech PR approach here is invaluable, as we are experts in social media campaigns and creating messages that can relay the core values of your business. During a time of controversy is not the time to make a sales pitch. Part of PR in crisis management involves ensuring that your messages are respectful and appropriate.

5

We execute the strategy

On top of developing a communication strategy, we can help you execute it should a crisis become reality. We can target key publications that can tell your side of the story and communicate key information to help reduce the impact of a public relations crisis. We do this by pitching to journalists.

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As an established crisis communications firm, we have built an extensive network of relationships with journalists in order to get our clients featured in the media. We ensure that your media training goes to good use, and your core messages end up in all the right places. We work closely with you as the situation unfolds to help you adapt to any evolvements and help you to continue to follow the best public relations and crisis management strategy.

6

Analysis

A benefit of working with PRLab is that we are a top crisis communications agency, and our services continue after the situation has occurred in order to continue improving your strategy. We conduct a thorough analysis, assessing how the situation arose, what went wrong, and what could be done in the future to avoid a public relations crisis happening again.

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We also analyze the effectiveness of the PR crisis management plan, assessing what worked and what didn’t. You may find that what you had planned is not how it unfolded in real life and you had to improvise. Based on this we develop your strategy for the future so your business can become more resilient to unexpected scenarios, implementing crisis management strategies before they evolve.

We will also work together to measure your competitor’s response in similar scenarios, understanding how and why they were similarly affected and how effective their PR crisis plan was.

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    What is crisis management in public relations?

    PR in crisis management focuses on two areas. The first involves implementing management strategies within your business. In this area, the purpose of PR should prepare you for dealing with the media when something goes wrong, for example, a product return or a scandal within your organization.

    PR in crisis management also outlines how you will communicate with your consumers and clients when an unexpected scenario arises. These are situations that occur on a larger scale that have a widespread effect on your industry. Although these situations may not require the protection of your individual reputation quite as much, people may experience greater uncertainty and less trust, so adjusting your communication to empathise with your audience is essential.

    Why is pr important during a crisis?

    Public relations and crisis management are very closely related. This is because PR will outline effective communication between you and the public. During a time of crisis, communication is key in reducing the uncertainty that may be surrounding your reputation and therefore impacting your revenue, customer acquisition and customer loyalty.

    A PR crisis management plan is necessary in order to effectively communicate and maintain a level of trust between you and your audience. As an experienced PR crisis communications agency, PRLab offers a range of services that can be used to prepare for and actively deal with any unexpected situation. We can help you plan an effective content marketing and social media strategy, through which you can implement your prepared response.

    We can also provide the media training necessary to teach your team the skills required to respond internally, keeping everyone calm and informed, and externally, ensuring that your team responds to the media in a manner that will reduce the effects of a public relations crisis* and communicate your brand’s value.

    What do you do in a PR crisis?

    The first thing you should dois to implement your PR in crisis management plan immediately, promptly addressing both your team and the public upon your discovery of the PR crisis. Being open and honest is the best policy, as it demonstrates good values that will be associated with your brand. Mistakes do happen, and it is better to admit to them and work on improvement than deny the existence of a situation. The situations in which you can deny a crisis* is when you are certain the accusations are false.

    There are other strategies you can implement to manage a PR crisis, one of which being the diminishment strategy. In this crisis management strategy, instead of denying all faults, you can try to minimize the degree of responsibility on the organization. This only works when it is plausible to deny some of the responsibility. In situations where you cannot deny or diminish the events in question, there is the rebuilding strategy, in which you can make efforts to mend an organization’s reputation, usually in the form of an apology or compensation.

    These strategies can be supplemented by bolstering your positive image, presenting your audience with new positive information about your organization or reminding them of your previous achievements.

    In all of the above PR crisis management strategies, you should have a response prepared in advance. It is a good idea to recruit a crisis communication firm to assist you in devising a plan that involves careful consideration every step of the way.

    How to avoid a PR crisis?

    The truth is that sometimes, problems cannot be avoided. Accidents happen, you make mistakes, and events occur outside of your control. What you can do is to be certain you have a strategy ready to deal with a PR crisis* should it arise, and ensure that you follow several principles to avoid escalating a situation.

    Firstly, if a public relations crisis is happening, it is essential to communicate with your team, being as honest and calm as possible to avoid panic and the spread of misinformation. Working with a crisis communication firm such as PRLab can be invaluable in mitigating the damaging effects of a PR crisis.

    You can try to avoid controversy preemptively by building strong roots. This means building good relationships with and earning the trust of your employees, partners, and clients. By having an established positive reputation, you can lessen the negative effects of unexpected situations when they do happen. You can collaborate with PRLab to build an effective public relations and crisis management strategy that will bolster this trust with all the aforementioned parties. We can also help you to develop a social media policy that will guide how you behave online in a way that will protect your reputation.

    What is the role of PR in crisis management?

    PR specialists have many responsibilities when it comes to running a crisis communication firm. First is to conduct a full assessment of the situation before using our expertise to offer advice and guidance on your PR crisis management plan. This is best done following the steps necessary to gain an understanding of the company’s background and the context of the situation.

    Public relations in crisis management will also help to manage the press and media attention during these tricky situations. As a PR crisis communication agency, PRLab will help you to craft statements and train you and your team so they can interact with the media and give good interviews that will help with the reputation of your company and ensure the continued loyalty of your customers and investors.

    It is also the role of PR to provide ongoing support after the situation has blown over. Part of this means analyzing the effectiveness of your PR crisis strategy, looking at what worked and what could be improved upon in the future. PR can also help to direct attention away from the PR crisis by creating a marketing strategy that focuses on the other positive achievements of your brand.

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