How to Maintain Your Credibility During a PR Crisis
When you’re going through a PR crisis, your credibility is on the line. We live in an increasingly jaded society. People have been trained to believe the worst, and more times than not, they’re right to do so. After all, where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire, so if you find yourself embroiled in controversy, most people are going to take the “guilty until proven innocent” approach to your case.
That’s why it’s your job to save and maintain your credibility during your PR crisis. Because once you’ve lost credibility and lost the trust of your audience, it’s a very tough battle to get it back.
So, what can you do to maintain your credibility during a PR crisis?
Respond quickly – The longer you stay silent, the more likely it is that the public will assume you’ve done something wrong and have something to hide. When the poop starts hitting the fan, you have to respond quickly to limit the size of the mess. Get out there and show people that you’re competent, confident, and in control of the situation.
Be as forthcoming as you can be – There may be certain legal implications that prevent you from sharing certain details related to your particular situation, but you really need to try to be as forthcoming as possible. A “no comment” is often interpreted as an admission of guilt by most people, and people can’t forgive you (or trust you again) if you don’t apologize or give them anything to work with.
Show your human side – People hate corporate speak. They can’t stand the carefully guarded, unemotional comments companies issue when they’ve done something wrong. You need to show them your human side. Show some compassion, and remember that attitude and non-verbal cues are also important whenever speaking in public.
Take clear measures to resolve the issue – If you have no clear remedy for solving the problem you’re facing or preventing from happening again, how can you expect anyone to trust you again? You need to take clear measures to resolve important issues if you want any chance of maintaining your credibility.
What are some other important actions you can take to save your credibility during a PR crisis?