There is quite a lot of science in crisis response to go with the art.
I was interviewed a few weeks ago (along with PRSA Chair Gerry Corbett and Council of Public Relations Firms’ Senior Vice President Matt Shaw) by The Business Journals for an article on “How to respond to bad publicity.” The three tips at the bottom of the article come right from what research teaches us about crisis response:
- “If you act fast, you have a better chance of controlling the story and the outcome.
- “Treat employees, community leaders and officials as key contributors to helping you solve the problem.
- “Never miss out on the opportunity to learn from the mistake. The public is far less forgiving when you’ve had this problem before and you let it happen again.”
Frank Ovaitt is President and CEO of the Institute for Public Relations.