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How to PR tips….. Crisis Management

Over the past few weeks, we have been witness to a number of incidents in the UK, where a number of companies, politicians, and institutions have demonstrated the impact of effective and non-effective communication.

When you are in the midst of a crisis in your life, the natural inclination is to revert to your instinctive type.  However, when dealing with your relationship with the public and your PR, there are very specific steps you need to take to ensure that you can deliver your message, effectively and coherently.

The images highlight how these three politicians managed their individual circumstances with the public after the Grenfell Towers fire.  In a demonstration of the various styles;

 

Which do you think would work best for you?

A.  Sadiq Khan, holding a press conference whilst facing abuse and the anger of the community?  Listening and waiting for appropriate moments to speak.

B.  Jeremy Corbyn, speaking to the public and people on a one to one basis, hugging and listening.

C.  Theresa May, visiting the scene of the devastation, speaking to the heroic firefighters in private and then leaving.

 

  • Which option do you feel best suits your personality?
  • What would you do to let the victims know that you care?

Below are 4 steps to help you in a crisis.  However, at the core, you require empathy and compassion for the other person.  This is essential, even if you have done everything in your power to avoid or minimise a situation.

Step 1:   Do not go on the offensive.  It is imperative that you appear empathetic and calm.  Even if you are feeling scared.

Step 2:  If you are the CEO, Chairman etc and you are naturally not a person who seems to relate to people well, surround yourself with people who have a human touch.  That DOES NOT mean that you should hide away and avoid the difficult questions.  However, in a time of crisis, you need to address the immediate needs of the other people.  They want to know that you care.

Step 3:  Listen to the victims or those on the other side of your situation.  Listening is key to resolution and solutions.

Step 4:  Mirror the community.  Dress in a fashion that mirrors the people you are speaking to.  It shows that you are trying to relate.  In your own style dress casually, if that is what it takes.  Mirroring does not mean mimicking, it just means that you need to reflect your audience.

Finally, provide an outline of the next steps, as quickly as possible.  This helps people to be assured that something is being done.

Look out for more tips for your business.

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