By: Sydney Nelson
One of the most important aspects of PR in today’s world is crisis management. In order for companies to succeed, they need to be proficient in crisis management. Katie Goodale, associate and director of PR and social media at agency Hiebing, has established a plan to tackle the 3 main types of crises that companies face.
Tier 1: Multi-Channel
The multi-channel crisis is the most dangerous because it has the most potential to attract unwanted publicity. This sort of crisis would relate to an extreme situation, such as--workplace harassment allegations or product recalls. In this case, the most important thing to do is respond quickly and authentically. Rather than just posting on the company website, it is very important that you cover all media channels (social media included). Additionally, it is important that the message is consistent throughout all posts, however it must be varied.
Tier 2: Emerging
An emerging crisis is not nearly as extensive as a multi-channel crisis. This crisis occurs when your social community has the ability to escalate to a real problem, however it can be prevented if acted upon quickly. An example of this type would be if customers were complaining about service issues or changes to the brand’s product. In this case, it is important to approach each complaint individually instead of doing a big overall post because this strategy will prevent the problem from getting out of hand.
Tier 3: Industry-Adjacent
An industry-adjacent crisis is typically a crisis by association. This would be when a competitor is experiencing a social media crisis and your followers may question your company’s relation with the company in trouble or they may ask if your brand has knowledge of the issue. The most important thing to do in this situation is to make sure you are monitoring your competitor’s channels so you are aware of what crises/issues are occurring on their end. Once you are made aware of the problem, it is important that you release statements informing your publics that your not associated with the problem in any way.