The public relations department is solely responsible for establishing and maintaining the company’s reputation and ensuring that crisis situations are dealt with quickly and tactfully when they arise.
Whether the crisis is completely unexpected and happens out of the blue, or it’s a crisis the company knew about in advance but hoped would never come to light, it’s about what the company’s public relations department writes In their press release Damage Control will ultimately decide the fate of the company’s future with their clients.
The press release is the main tool in any public relations department’s damage control management kit that can be used for the sole purpose of turning a company’s hell-scenes upside down. This is all very well for large companies that have the money to afford a good public relations department, but what about smaller companies? Some may employ the help of a public relations firm as a consultation, but if that’s also an unaffordable option, they may have to write one themselves.
So how do companies write an effective damage control press release? Here are some guidelines on what to include.
1 – State the facts and tell the truth
The press release should provide the public and the press with key facts about the crisis, in response to what is already in the press or about to be published. Denials and fabrications of the truth must be avoided at all costs. as this could have serious implications. Be careful if there is a possibility of a possible lawsuit as a result of the crisis, or even because this could irrevocably damage the company’s reputation if the truth comes out at a later date.
2 – Take responsibility
Whatever the situation, if the company is responsible for what happened, then it is critical that it take responsibility for its actions. Even if the crisis is the result of the actions of an individual employee, the company must still take responsibility so that the public does not think that the company is simply scapegoating or ignoring the problem in order to keep the brand image absolutely clean.
Failure to take responsibility is more likely to further weaken public opinion of the company.
3 – Express concern and act
The type of language used is of paramount importance. The company needs to express empathy and concern at the right level so that its clients, the public and the press understand that the company apologizes and cares about its clients and not only about the negative impact that the crisis is having on its business.
The company needs to explain what appropriate action it is taking to bring the crisis to a successful conclusion. If the crisis is one that has resulted in health and safety issues or has an environmental impact, then the public must be assured of their immediate and future safety. Depending on the nature of the crisis, the company should also mention any compensatory measures it is taking or has implemented.
At the end of damage Control Press Release, The company should include positive details about their business to remind their loyal customers why they choose to do business with them. The company should also include details about what they have learned from this bad experience and what future-proofing steps they are taking or have already implemented to ensure that such a crisis never happens again.