Almost 70-percent of businesses recently surveyed experienced a crisis in the past five years. Negative information about your business can travel quickly, and crisis management is critical. How you handle a business crisis reveals your character and skill at handling a catastrophe.
A press release can help you battle negative publicity. When you write a press release, it gives necessary information and allows you to control the narrative. It also establishes a relationship with the media.
Here’s more about why a press release is important in business crisis management.
The first thing in a business crisis is to get the correct information out to the public. The quicker you get the correct information through traditional and social media channels, the less ‘misinformation’ that will exist. You should consider a press release distribution service to connect with thousands of media outlets.
When you write a press release, think as a reporter thinks – a press release should include who, what, when, where, why, and how. Include the time, place, and details of what happened. Include contact information, whether an email address or mobile phone number.
It’s also crucial in your publicity campaign to write about what you don’t know. When people are left to guess or speculate, they ask more questions. Furthermore, anticipate any questions that someone might have and give the right answer!
For example, if there is a fire at your business and people are hurt, put out a press release to explain what time the fire began and any additional details. You’re likely not to know a cause, so report those details. You’ll also have to work with the fire department to figure out additional information, such as the number of firefighters battling the blaze.
Moreover, before putting out any information, hold a staff meeting with your internal employees and put together a strategy. Make sure everyone is on the same page. Decide on an official spokesperson for the crisis, and be calm.
Be wary that information will travel fast through social media. Any video or pictures you post will be shared multiple times.
Putting out the right information also allows you to control the narrative. Giving your side of the story avoids manipulation.
In a crisis, sometimes you must put out multiple press releases each day, as news warrants and information changes. You control the narrative by giving out information you think is most necessary and important. Media outlets will also appreciate giving them information before their deadline.
Remain positive in your delivery. Be upbeat. Show the public you are in control through your written press release.
Make sure your message is clear. Be confident and show trust in the information you give to the public. Avoid being negative and allow your emotions to be a part of your story.
In addition, avoid denials. When you deny what happened, people tend to ask more questions and bring more attention to the problem.
Controlling the narrative through public relations also helps build your credibility. Establishing your business with credibility will make you trusted in the eye of the public, regardless of the crisis.
There’s an old saying, ‘there’s no such publicity as bad publicity.’ Use a crisis to talk about your company’s values and efforts to improve the situation. Showing the public that you took the initiative and made things better adds to your brand.
A famous case study in public relations is the Tylenol cyanide poisonings in 1982. Seven people died after the pills made their way to pharmacies in Chicago. Suddenly, the world’s foremost brand found itself in a crisis.
Johnson and Johnson, Tylenol’s manufacturer, quickly showed initiative and began working on safety packaging. The company wanted to explain and demonstrate to the public how important safety would become to their customers.
Johnson and Johnson took what was an absolute crisis and made the system better, giving people quality packaging. The company later worked with Congress to develop standardized rules.
Taking the initiative in business crisis management allows you to make changes and improve the system.
A good relationship with the media helps you get information out to the public quickly in a crisis. Newsrooms receive thousands of emails each day, and editors must filter through what is and what is not essential. You want your information to stand out.
Before a crisis occurs, invite the media to your business. It’s best to coordinate a visit with a national story so that a local outlet can give it a local perspective. Local news outlets always appreciate featuring local stories rather than using national content.
For example, if you own a business that makes parts for cars and trucks and has trouble getting parts, invite the media to see your operation. Please give them your story about supply-chain issues and how it’s affecting profits and the workforce. Journalists always want a good story and will look for your press releases.
Using this type of positive publicity helps develop a personal relationship. When there’s a crisis, you can call the same reporter and get your story to air faster. The reporter will already have some background and know what you do at your business, regardless of the business crisis.
The media outlet can then quickly use their vast network to get a message.
A press release is an integral part of business crisis management, and there are several things you need to know about why it’s effective. A press release is important because it gives important information and controls the narrative. It also shows initiative and establishes a relationship with the media.
In business crisis management, it’s crucial to have a distribution system for your press release for maximum effect. We can instantly help you get press releases to all of the right media outlets! Contact us today so we can help you minimize harm from any crisis.