Anti-crisis PR: the most common mistakes -

Anti-crisis PR: the most common mistakes

Anti-crisis PR: the most common mistakes

What mistakes are most often made by PR people and company speakers?

There has been some bad event in your company - an accident, a catastrophe, a fire, etc. And you need to react - to correctly illuminate this event in the info field. What mistakes are most often made by PR people and company speakers in such a situation? What should they be warned against? What rake should I not step on ?! We ask the council of experts. Today our questions are answered by the PR partner of the construction company "Neometria" Irina Chukhnina
In the event of crisis situations in the company, PR people and speakers, as a rule, allow one or more of these errors.

1. They are not prepared
If the company does not have a plan in case of emergency, then when it occurs management and PR-service will have a huge amount of work in the deadline. This can be easily avoided by working out possible variants of crisis situations in advance. Take for example the catering company. In addition to the "universal" emergency like fire and flooding, of which 100% are not insured by any company, such "local" incidents as poisoning, ingestion of foreign objects, public conflict with personnel and so on may occur. In the era of social networks, when information is spread instantaneously, there will be no time for reflection, so it should be prepared in advance.

What to do: think over what crisis situations are most likely and prescribe the procedure for each of them with an indication of the time frame. How will the company react? Is it enough to post in the official public or will it be necessary to comment on the sector / news media? How? In absentia or in person? Who is authorized to comment and who is not? For what kind of PE provided compensation from the company? In what form? Having such a plan, the company will be able to react to abnormal situations instantly, without fuss and unnecessary emotions. Of course, sometimes there are unpredictable incidents, such as the sensational case of breastfeeding in the café "Coffee". Then just one post on Facebook caused a wide public response.

On the one hand, a storm of indignation fell on the company, on the other - the demand to leave the prohibitive rules unchanged. The coffee shop acted correctly: it reacted to the situation in a timely manner, outlining its version of events and the company's position on the official page. And let many customers were dissatisfied with the decision, but this example can serve quite a working case of anti-crisis communications.

2. They are silent
This point, as a rule, follows from the first. The PR-service is not ready for a crisis situation, so it pauses to develop a plan and agree on it. Practice shows that the larger the company or the more difficult the state of emergency, the longer this silence is delayed.

What to do: if the crisis situation has already occurred, you must at least recognize the fact of what happened and list the specific actions that the company has taken to eliminate it. If as a result of the state of emergency there are injured, the company's leader should personally comment on the situation, tell about the measures taken and express condolences.

3. They allow information leakage
Strangely enough, this point also follows from the first. If the company does not have rules (codes of conduct) for communications, then employees may, by ignorance, give incorrect information to journalists or the public. Therefore, even if such a regulation exists, it will not be superfluous to periodically remind of it. In case of emergency, an additional message should be made and worked with employees authorized to comment, plan of action and scripts. A good anti-example is the recent case when Wargaming, the creator of the game WorldofTanks, fired two employees for violating corporate secrets. They published in Instagramsfi with Arato Andrashem, better known as the internet memo "Harold hiding pain".
The media replicated this photo and suggested that "Harold" came to the Belarusian office of Wargaming to participate in the promotion of her games.

Ivan Kuznetsov, director of public relations of the company, explained: "As in any large company, Wargaming has rules that limit the disclosure of information by employees, including in social media."
At the same time, one of the dismissed employees, fitness trainer Alexander Khvashchevsky, said that the message about the privacy of Harold's visit came only in the evening, when information about the photo had already appeared in the media. He also claims that he worked under a contract agreement and did not sign those documents that forbid "contract workers" to disclose certain corporate information.

4. They "get confused in the testimony"
This happens when the PR-service and top-managers of the company do not have a single, streamlined system for the rapid exchange of information. Someone is already aware of the latest news, and someone continues to set out yesterday's agenda.

What to do: an "anti-crisis headquarters" is created, which includes those employees who are working to remove the emergency and are authorized to comment on this matter. The whole team merges into a working chat room, where the moderator (usually a PR man or the head of the company), defines a single information agenda, which employees broadcast in the info field.

5. They do not correct the content plan
There was a tragedy or state of emergency, and the company continues as if nothing had happened to publish entertainment posts and promotions. Unfortunately, this is a fairly common practice. At the same time, not everyone understands that even if the crisis situation does not directly relate to the company, but is related to the industry in which it operates, this is enough to suspend advertising activity and respond in accordance with the information agenda. An example is the reaction of Russian shopping and entertainment centers to the tragedy in Kemerovo.

Fortunately, some shopping centers reacted to the situation correctly. But most still preferred to keep silent, formally unsubscribe, or even completely ignored the event.

What to do: monitor the information field and adjust the content plan in accordance with the news agenda. This will not only show professionalism, but also preserve the human face of your brand.

And if you want a more detailed conversation about crisis communications - do not miss the conference "Anti-crisis PR-2018: protection of reputation and work with negative", which will be held in Moscow on June 7-8.
To view the conference program and apply for participation, please visit:

04.06.2018 14:10:14
(Automatic translation)

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