Video: How to create a crisis communications plan

As a business owner or marketer, there are few things more challenging than when the reputation of your brand is put into question. Whether it’s on a small or large scale, a PR crisis can have major consequences on the success and longevity of your business. 

But that doesn’t have to be the case.

With the help of a great crisis communications plan, it is possible to weather a PR storm and come out stronger on the other side.

Like with many things in PR, there is no cookie-cutter solution to a crisis communications plan. Crafting the right strategy requires you to consider a number of factors, including the nature of your business, the level of public scrutiny it faces, its size and reach, and any past incidences or crises that may inform future challenges.

First and foremost, it’s important to consider the potential risks and vulnerabilities your business may face. This could include a wide number of scenarios, from customer dissatisfaction to cybersecurity breaches or criticism regarding your brand’s values and messages. Having a good understanding of what you may come up against in the future is essential to understanding how to navigate it.

Your crisis communication plan should also clearly define the roles and responsibilities of your team when facing a PR crisis. Depending on the size of your organisation and the complexity of the issues you may come up against, your crisis management team may include senior management, your public relations team, lawyers, and marketing leaders. By clearly defining each person’s roles, you ensure that everyone can collaborate effectively if a PR crisis arises.

Perhaps the most important part of your crisis communication plan is preparing your key messages. Consider the potential crisis scenarios you may be faced with and develop key messages that address each situation, ensuring that you focus on empathy, transparency, and a commitment to resolving the issue at hand. From start to finish, your key messages must align with your company’s core values and mission, serving as a consistent and authentic voice that your customers can recognise. 

Depending on the size and nature of your business, you also may want to consider nominating a spokesperson as part of your communications plan. This is especially important for high-profile brands who may receive requests for interviews, comments, or press conferences. Ensuring your spokesperson can confidently communicate the key messages even while under pressure is essential. This is where media training may be required to ensure your brand puts its best foot forward.

Having a robust crisis communications strategy will ensure that your business is prepared for any PR challenge that may come its way. Think of it as your secret weapon in your pocket for a rainy day – hopefully, you won’t have to use it, but you will feel confident knowing it’s there.

If your business needs help with reputation management or formulating a great crisis communications plan, the team at Pure Public Relations are here to help. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can assist you.

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