A PR crisis can come in all shapes and sizes. An employee scandal, a vicious rumour, legal issues – these can all attract negative media attention for businesses large and small. Whatever the crisis, there is always one similarity in dealing with negative press… an official statement. Over the years, many businesses and organisations have come to us for crisis management, and preparing a statement is always our first step. So, here are our top tips for preparing a PR crisis statement.
Use Key Messages
A crisis statement has to be informative and tackle the 5 w’s. If you are unaware of the 5 w’s, it stands for ‘who, what, where, when and why.’ Build your statement around these points to ensure you deliver your message clearly without any confusion. The key message should be delivered by a uniform voice using just one spokesperson. This spokesperson should be the most senior person at the company e.g. the CEO or the MD.
Isolated the Issue as a One-off
The impact of a bad news story can be minimised by proving that the crisis is a rare event. It’s important to prove that your company has an otherwise fantastic reputation, and this incident is an ‘isolated event.’
Express Empathy and a Plan of Action
Bridge the gap between the public and your company by using empathetic language. Identifying that you ‘understand’ and ‘acknowledge’ the issue will make your company look more reputable. When expressing your solution, use phrases such as ‘taking appropriate measures’ or ‘working closely with the authorities.’
Honesty is key when dealing with a PR crisis. The media and the public are looking for transparency and truthful statements when you issue your statement. A false statement could even further damage the reputation and credibility of your company. To be as honest as possible, make sure you have all of the facts before releasing your statement.
For more help preparing a PR crisis statement, get in touch with one of our team. We can prepare and distribute a bulletproof crisis statement and define an ongoing crisis management strategy to get you through a difficult time. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01202 676762.