Friday, 13 March 2009

PR crisis management

Crisis management is a critical area for public relations. It requires one to be well prepared when there is a crisis, and be able to identify a crisis before it occurs as it might get out of hand if not careful. The way an organisation handles a crisis and communicates when there is a problem makes a real difference.

We had an exercise in class that involved different groups in a crisis. And the different groups had different roles. They included the media, a school, a hospital, a food company, education authority and parents. After the exercise which proved tough to some of the groups, it was clear that good communications during a crisis can help to limit damage and so place an organisation or company in a better position to recover from bad reputation.

What one says at the first few hours of a crisis matters. This may determine what the outcome would be. Remember a good PR crisis management can save a company's image, lives and money.

However, research shows that "there is no guaranteed recipe for success in crisis management, but there are key ingredients which are: knowledge preparation, calmness, control and communication which will see an organisation secure the best possible outcome." (Tech &Yeomans, 2006: p. 413).

It’s critical that leaders of businesses, nonprofits and associations are proactive with crisis communications and public relations.

If you want know how best to protect yourself and act appropriately, watch this video.


  1. What this has taught me is never to assume. It is essential to have all the facts when a crisis occurs otherwise you are at risk of getting into BIGGER problems. I do agree with you that timing is also very important.

  2. Kim, am grateful for your comments and that you also learn't. I think the exercise what so practical to get people have a feel on how tough it can actually get if one is not prepared. Be calm, remember don't hide from press until the matter gets worse, don't lie to the press if you don't have info, instead say you are trying to establish all the facts and you will communicate as soon as you have all the information. It's be better to be proactive than reactive.