Principles of Crisis Communication

18 11 2008
  1. DO NOT LIE!!!  This is the most important rule of crisis communication.  Public Relations’ first responsibility is to the publics and the people, therefore do not lie to them.  Also, lying usually backfires and causes more bad PR for the organization.
  2. Apologize and rectify the problem.  If the crisis involves a particular individual of the organization, have that individual take responsibility.  Do not put blame on the organization if the blame is on the  individual.
  3. Communicate clearly, quickly and choose your words very carefully.  That is why PR exists, to communicate to the publics.  Some words are very emotionally loaded and therefore, you need to choose words carefully.
  4. Don’t blow something out of proportion.  If something is an isolated incident, keep it isolated.  But dont underplay a crisis.
  5. Try to solve the crisis at first sign.  Don’t let something escalate; be alert and monitor the crisis.
  6. SOLVE THE PROBLEM!!

PR practitioners need to ask themselevs what is best in the long-run.  This is the difference between long-term PR and “one night stand PR” (according to Dr. V.). One Night stand PR is giving PR in general a bad name and reputation.  A crisis needs to be dealt with carefully and the strategies need to be analyzed in the long run.

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