Controlling the Flames When Your Business Comes Under Fire

You didn’t ask for the $#!T to hit the fan, but it did and now it’s your job to get it under control. But it’s important to be strategic about your messaging and not allow a botched response to leave you treading in deeper waters. As with any emergency preparedness is key, so here are a few takeaways your business can implement to put out any burning PR flames.

Double-check everything.

Ask your team: “Are we sending the right message–or inadvertently sending the wrong message?” Is there something going on in the news that may temporarily conflict with what you’re trying to accomplish? Whether it’s a commercial, a YouTube video, a social media post, or an email newsletter, get another set of eyes on it. Catching just one bad mistake could keep your work from unintentionally going viral, or worse, getting you fired.

Develop an emergency strategy.

Have a response plan if you’re about to jump into controversy. This includes statements, news releases, and spokespeople ready to go. Even if you don’t know if controversy awaits, there should still be a response plan in place. Create a “How to Handle” guide with contact information for lead decision makers and a step-by-step action plan. The longer you wait, the worse the crisis can become.

Make a mistake? Admit to it.

Every business makes mistakes. But the ones that stand to recover easily are those that immediately and humbly admit to their mistakes. A quick response time and open, honest communication are key to helping a brand control their story and maintain good faith with its customers.

Listen and be present.

Be sensitive to the power of social media and don’t take everything personally. The customer isn’t angry with you, they are frustrated with the product or brand as a whole. Let customers vent and address even small complaints from followers or others with grace and good sense.

When it comes to a crisis, minutes truly count — whether you are in a REAL fire or a public relations firestorm. Make a plan, be prepared and when in doubt, trust the experts to help extinguish the flames. Is your business coming under fire? On The Marc Media has the experience to properly manage all of your crisis communications. Email to schedule a consultation.

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