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Best Practices | PR Marketing in a Crisis

March 13, 2020
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In light of current events and national concern surrounding COVID-19, setting a crisis communication plan to help mitigate potential damage on public perception of a brand is more important than ever. The goal is to keep customers and media properly informed with the effort to control the message and impact on an organization and its customers. If done quickly and effectively, communication will reinforce that the brand is a responsible and transparent organization that prioritizes health and safety.

A crisis communication plan affects all marketing channels, and it’s crucial to plan accordingly, even if you do not believe your company could be impacted by a crisis.

Below are a few best practices in implementing an effective, holistic crisis communication strategy.

Task Out Campaign-Specific Action Items

If you’re currently rolling out a marketing campaign that could be portrayed as untimely or insensitive to the situation at hand, it’s best practice to postpone. Whether it be a product launch, announcement or PR campaign, a period of crisis is an inappropriate time to move forward with these marketing initiatives.

Create a Task Force and Designate Roles

Selecting the task force to best represent your brand both internally and externally is imperative. 

For public relations and media purposes, appoint a key representative from your executive personnel who is polished, seasoned in public speaking and available to answer media queries, release a statement and take interviews.

When appointing a leader to inform your internal publics of a situation, ask yourself who would be the most appropriate figure to speak on the subject, and whether or not your team should hear the news directly from their managers first.

In addition to selecting key speakers, designate a management team to coordinate these means of communication as well as a creative team to craft the right message.

Communicate to Customers and Media With a Consistent Message

In addressing the issue at hand, relay concern for those who are affected and be human in the situation. Take care of business efficiently and effectively while demonstrating that the people behind the brand understand that lives are affected. The brand must remain empathetic and united without placing blame or avoiding the situation.

Act as Quickly as Possible

The moment you are informed there is a crisis, your top priority must be informing your publics, both internal and external. Connect with your PR team and work to craft your message. Once finalized, spread the word across all appropriate channels— address it on your website, distribute a press release, send an email to past and current customers and employees and post on social media as soon as possible.

At Power Digital, we are determined to help brands be proactive and keep their publics informed, in a clear and authentic way. For more information on our crisis communication service, book a time to chat with us.

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