Any business knows that no matter what’s going on and how well they are on top of everything, a crisis is never expected. However, how well the business can respond during a crisis always reflects on the public’s perception of the organization in the future, whether in a positive or negative light. The key factor in determining how this reflects on a business in the aftermath of a crisis is how they communicate with the audience once the crisis is over.
Whenever a PR crisis is happening with an organization, everything is disrupted. From the front-line employees to the CEO and the founders, everyone’s attention shifts to dealing with the matter at hand. Nevertheless, if the people in the leadership positions are sharp, they would have already been working with a PR crisis communication team and have legal advisors on-board – all the people that are needed to provide support to the company during a tumultuous time.
Then, once the crisis is over and done with, everyone’s in a rush to return to normal and put the stress of the situation behind them. However, that is the perfect time that these people should be working a little bit more so that they can restore the organization’s public image and strengthen its reputation with the public.
The reason behind the crisis is not important at this step – but oftentimes, brands and corporations tend to underestimate how long residual threats can last once a crisis is over. These types of organizations tend to leave many unanswered questions in the aftermath of a PR crisis.
Questions such as what was the extent of the damage to the organization’s public image, will there be any lasting damage to the company’s identity with the public perception, how will the company regain the confidence of its target audience after the crisis, as well as whether the reputation of the company can be repaired or even completely restored often go unanswered.
Tips for Post-PR Crisis Management
● Organizations should conduct a debrief and analysis of everything that happened during the crisis, including everything that was mentioned about the brand on social media.
● If any promises were made to the public, the stakeholders, as well as the employees, as it usually happens during a PR crisis, they need to be followed through. Additionally, it’s also important to communicate how those promises have been followed through once it’s done, and follow up on anything else that needs to be addressed.
● A public relations crisis is the perfect time to show the public any new leadership that will renew the organization internally. It’s important to show on-board leaders with good character, who are committed to the original values of the organization and can show optimism in rebuilding the company to make it even better than it was before the crisis.
● Communicate and rebuild any relationships that were damaged during the crisis. First, work on identifying those relationships, as well as anyone who needs to know about the progress that the organization is making after the crisis, and then mend all those broken bridges.
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