What Are The Risks Of A Public Relations Crisis To My Business?
|Concerned About The Risks Of A Public Relations Crisis To My Business?
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[Part 2 of a 2 Part Series] Scandals are trending on social media. And because a public relations crisis can strike at any time – the best defense is good preparation. A single public relations crisis can sideline your business and your people. Our insurance brokers are frequently asked “What are the risks of a public relations crisis to my business?” and understanding what you can do to manage risk before and during a public relations can help you prepare your team for a breaking news headline.
Preparing For A Public Relations Crisis – Control Your Message
A recent HR Insights by Zywave notes that, “Depending on the nature of the crisis, several outside entities may start talking about the situation within your organization. These may include the media, law enforcement, lawyers, banks, hackers, disgruntled customers and social media users.
Related Matters: PR Daily: What we can learn from 2017’s biggest PR crises (so far)
In the face of all the discussion, you want to make sure your organization is controlling the conversation as much as possible. As reflexive as it might be to choose not to comment or to say only that you are taking the matter seriously, it is not helpful. If the story is big enough, people are going to be talking, and if they don’t get information from you, they will get it from a third party, an internal source or from rumors.”1
Preparing For A Public Relations Crisis – Your Employees
“Instruct all employees who are not part of the crisis team to direct requests for comment to the company spokesperson. Talk to reporters and post messages on your social media accounts. If necessary, consider using paid advertising to get your message across. In all instances, however, make sure your message is the unvarnished truth. If any false or inaccurate statements are uncovered, the damage may be practically impossible to reverse.
The best thing you can do to prevent a public relations crisis from turning into a public relations disaster is to anticipate what could happen and plan your response to it. When a crisis is unfolding, the quickest and least damaging way to steer through it is to immediately alert your customers, disclose how it impacts them and deliver timely updates as you work toward a solution.
After the crisis dies down, you can begin the work of repairing relationships with clients and determining how to prevent problems from occurring in the future. But, it’s important to remember that no matter how perfect the fix, if the crisis is handled poorly, it may already be too late.”2
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Understanding and managing the risks of a public relations crisis is just one way you can protect your bottom line. Across Canada, our insurance brokers can provide you with the most current commercial liability insurance options, risk management techniques and help you secure a competitive commercial insurance quote.
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1-2 Adapted from HR Insights © 2016 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved. This HR Insights is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice.