This is the first thing you should do in a PR Crisis

By Grazel Gueco

If you’re a successful brand in the age of social media, there will always be a chance that your brand can run into a bit of PR trouble. And when that happens, it’s best to be as prepared as possible. Because the worst thing to do is panic and figure out how to fix it in the heat of the moment. 

If not handled correctly, even minor issues can snowball into major disasters that will harm the reputation of your company. So don’t wait until the last minute! One of these days, you might thank yourself for reading this blog ahead of time.

The first thing you should do as a brand is issue something called a ‘Preliminary Statement’.

What is a preliminary statement and why should you post one?

A preliminary statement isn’t a 20 page long apology. It’s a short statement that acknowledges the situation. 

There are 2 reasons why we like to post this first:

  1. It means that all customers’ feedback surrounding the situation will be funnelled into one single post, instead of customers leaving negative comments on other posts and platforms. 
  2. It allows us to tell customers that we know something is wrong and that we are looking into it.

Brands hesitate to release a preliminary statement because they don’t have all the information yet to respond, or because they think issuing a statement is going to make things worse. It’s okay to say that you don’t have all the information yet, as long as you’re being honest, and tell customers that you have plans on looking into it. Customers on social media really value transparency, so this is the best move to do early on. 

By doing this, we also reduce the amount of negative complaints. Customers are complaining because they want to be heard and need some sort of action from the brand’s end. Without a statement, this negative sentiment can just keep building until your brand’s reputation can no longer be rescued.

Here’s an example of a preliminary statement:

“We have been made aware of XYZ and are investigating now. We aim to respond once we have all the information. Thank you for your patience.”

It’s as simple as that! It doesn’t say much, but it saves your brand from a lot of trouble. It’s a short paragraph that doesn’t minimise, deny, apologise, or justify. 

Not sure what to do after that?

After issuing a preliminary statement, you’ve still got a PR crisis on your hands. Allow our expert team of community managers to help you get out of it. 

With our years of experience, we’ve learned that crisis management is a science – what you don’t do speaks as loud as what you do. Contact us today to make sure your brand’s reputation stays in tip- top shape.