There are several different theories in PR on how handle a crisis. Some are dealt with military precision, while others snowball into an even larger debacle. Although I believe the circumstances dictate the best way to handle a PR crisis, there should be a pre-meditated plan that is ready should the worst-case scenario occur.
Do I Need A Plan B?
Yes! Seems obvious, doesn’t it? However, some argue that if you put enough time and preparation into Plan A, you shouldn’t need a Plan B. In fact, having a secondary plan can look like a lack of confidence in your primary plan. It’s a very simplistic way to view things. There are always variables outside your control that could derail your campaign, or at least cause a glitch. Not to mention, the entire realm of possible events, miscues, or stumbles that aren’t directly tied to the campaign but can cause just as much damage. A backup plan is an excellent way to patch a campaign back together if it breaks, or it can act as a safety net but it’s not a panacea. Can you even prepare for such spontaneity? How can you cover every angle?
You can’t, or at least you shouldn’t. Having a contingency plan for every possible situation is a waste of time and resources. Yet, that doesn’t mean you can’t be as prepared as a boyscout. The trick is action…swift, transparent action. The longer you remain inactive after a bump in the road, the worse it gets. Not addressing the problem quickly and appropriately can make the smallest crack into the largest canyon.
Cleaning Up A Crisis
In recent news there have been a couple situations that, at least in my opinion, were PR disasters. I want to know whether you think they were handled well and/or what you would have done differently.