Press Releases During PR Disasters

You sit down to write your next press release for your company. Just as you start writing your first sentence, you see on the news that your CEO has said something ridiculous and gotten into a ton of trouble over it. The news is reporting it on a constant loop. You realize your press release job just got that much tougher. 

key with recovery text on laptop keyboard buttonSo how are you supposed to proceed? You can’t just power forward and keep writing the press release about your new product now. It would just be seen as garish and unfeeling. You have to make amends with the public about the CEO’s remarks.

It’s All About Recovery 

Nothing matters right now except what happened with your CEO. If you tried to send out a press release about your new product, not only will it get ignored, it might be taken in the wrong way by the public. You have to concentrate on recovering from the wound your CEO exposed first and foremost.

Of course the apology is the #1 thing to get out there. But there’s more – you can’t just apologize for the CEO’s remarks and assume everyone will be fine. Sure, some will be ok with it, but the rest want more. That’s why you have to say what you plan on doing going forward.

This is why you can’t push forward with the press release you planned on writing before. The public doesn’t care about your new product, they care what the company will do to amend what happened with your CEO. Set things right before you even consider anything else.

How Long to Wait? 

You still need to announce to the public that you’re releasing a new product. Your company still needs to move forward even in the face of what happened. But how long do you have to wait before revising that original press release? Is there a good time to move on and assume customers will be ok?

Naturally a lot of that is feeling out your audience. One way is to monitor your social media channels to see how often people respond with negative comments. If you post an innocuous comment hoping everyone has a good day and you get death threats, it may be time to wait. Eventually these will die down and you’ll get more positive comments than bad ones.

Are you in a time crunch? Some press releases can’t wait as they’re time sensitive – maybe there’s no stopping that product release. In this case, you have to pull double duty. One tactic here is to incorporate both messages into one.

Try working the “moving forward” message into the release by offering a deal or coupon for the new product. If the PR disaster is bad enough, you may want to instead donate a portion of sales of the new product to a charity. For example, if the CEO said something outrageous about children, a donation to a local children’s charity might help offset the awful remark.

What’s the most difficult press release you’ve had to write?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 8 Shocking Secrets Press Release Distribution Firms Don’t Want You to Know here:

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