A crisis can be a high-intensity situation, but if you have sufficiently prepared you will have already determined the best communications methods needed to effectively respond. Press releases and social media are among the most commonly used methods because they are two of the fastest ways to reach a large audience with an urgent message. In a crisis situation, both of these tactics work hand-in-hand; a press release is a trustworthy, verifiable source of information and social media allows the company to respond with developments. Knowing how to employ each of these tactics correctly is critical to taking control of a crisis.
Colleen Pizarev, VP Communication Strategies at PR Newswire suggests the following tips for using press releases and social media as part of your crisis communications plan:
- Fine-tune the core message to fit the context of the crisis
- Keep the release as short as possible
- Address multiple audiences besides the media, including employees, customers and business partners.
- Remember to include links for more information on your website and if multiple countries and languages are involved, that the links are to the appropriate pages.
- Designate a senior-level staffer to closely monitor social media channels for potentially damaging news and commentary
- Collaborate with staff in other countries to monitor the local social media channels that are used in that country
- Work closely with your legal team to develop appropriate responses
Overall, make sure that only one spokesperson is heard and above all else, remain honest and consistent across channels.
For more tips how to effectively plan a crisis communications strategy, register now for the webinar “Staying Ahead of the Game: The Steps to Effective Crisis Communications Planning” taking place tomorrow, March 11 at 1pm ET. We invite you to live-tweet with us during the webinar using #crisiscomms.