Don’t Panic! Here Are The Top Crisis Communications Strategies

From large corporations to schools, government entities and even your friendly, neighborhood ice cream shop, every organization – large and small – will undoubtedly experience a crisis at one time or another.

 

And while every situation is different, one thing remains the same – the decisions you make regarding crisis communications will either help your company ride out the chaotic roller coaster or, if you’re not careful, cause lasting damage to your brand.

 

Following the crisis communications strategies listed below could help you protect your organization during a difficult time.

 

Preparation is Key

While it’s impossible to know exactly when a crisis will strike, it’s important to anticipate and plan for potential crises.

 

The best way to prepare is to create a detailed plan outlining every possible crisis – everything from running out of ice cream on a hot, summer day to the building burning down – and the best possible response for each situation.

 

One of the biggest challenges companies face during a crisis is having too many cooks in the kitchen. The crisis communications plan should specify who will make final decisions on messaging, who will be the media spokesperson and who needs to be looped into all crisis communications discussions.

 

Accuracy and Speed

At Dittoe PR, we consider accuracy and speed to be two of the main ingredients in crisis preparedness – and while both are important, the two can sometimes create a confusing balancing act.

 

In the case of a major crisis, it is incredibly important to act quickly to stay ahead of the media and response from target audiences. However, that does not mean you should hastily share information or whip up a media statement too quickly.

 

Our recommendation? Face the crisis head on, only sharing accurate and factual information. If you are unsure of how the fire started, avoid speculation at all costs. Instead, share what you DO know. Avoiding the media during a crisis is often the biggest mistake a company can make, as it creates unnecessary rumors and spreads confusing messages.

 

Company transparency

During a crisis, it’s sometimes easy to forget about your employees while trying to communicate with the media, law enforcement, investors and everyone else on your list. However, neglecting employees could be harmful to your company’s internal well-being.

 

Oftentimes, employees catch on to crisis situations even if the company has not shared information and updates. Company morale can quickly diminish if employees think something is wrong, but are not receiving informational updates. Instead, the organization should always make sure to share the most up-to-date information with all employees to keep everyone in the know.

 

In the event of a crisis, the CEO and the executive team must consider the company’s employees as another constituency to respect and inform. This is particularly helpful should an employee want to discuss the company’s situation with others, on social media or even with the media. You should prep employees on what’s appropriate to share with their own networks (and also what’s not).

 

In short, managing crisis communications is no easy task. However, it doesn’t have to be detrimental to your brand if you prepare, act quickly, share accurate information with the media and your employees, and most importantly, avoid panic!

 

Additionally, working with an experienced PR firm can ensure success before, during, and after a crisis occurs, as well as strongly increase the chances of making it through unscathed.

 

Think your company or brand could benefit from expert crisis communications? We’re happy to help!

Dittoe Public Relations named a finalist in Ragan’s 2013 PR Daily Awards

Recently, Dittoe Public Relations was named a finalist for Ragan’s 2013 PR Daily Awards in the Best Event Marketing category for our work on the 2012 BMW Championship PGA TOUR tournament.

“It’s an honor to be recognized nationally by our peers for the results we produced for the BMW Championship,” said Chris Dittoe, president and co-founder of Dittoe Public Relations. “Our traditional media outreach combined with a fresh approach to social media marketing in our ‘Place the Pin’ contest led to record-setting attendance for the event and proved a boutique PR agency can deliver exceptional results.”

Our media relations and social media campaign focused on increasing local and regional awareness of an event new to Central Indiana, as well as creating and implementing special promotional events. Our multi-tiered approach paid dividends for the tournament: The 2012 BMW Championship surpassed its expected outcome and drew more than 143,000 spectators to become the highest-attended tournament in its 113-year history. In addition, the PGA TOUR named the BMW Championship “Best Tournament of the Year” following the commencement of the FedExCup Playoffs.

Highlights of our campaign include:

  • The BMW Championship was mentioned in 488 pieces of media coverage, leading to more than one billion impressions in print and online media.
  • An increase in the tournament’s social media reach and effectiveness, as its Twitter audience more than doubled, its Facebook page received 1,000 new “Likes” and its Klout score was raised from 17 to 64 in less than 30 days.
  • The “Place the Pin” marketing campaign drew more than 700 participants and generated more than $10,000 in ticket revenue.

Devised to drive awareness of the event offline and online, our “Place the Pin” campaign consisted of 18 BMW Championship-branded golf pin flag exhibits strategically placed around Indianapolis and Carmel. Public curiosity surrounding the displays combined with social media participation—fans posted pictures of the exhibits on Twitter and Facebook over an 18-day period—drove an increase in the BMW Championship’s social media presence and sparked community interest.

“The judges saw some truly incredible work from companies, agencies and individuals from around the world,” said Tyler Landry, awards program manager for the PR Daily Awards. “Each of the finalists in this year’s program represents the most innovative and successful work in the PR industry and should be proud of the being listed among the best of the best.”

The PR Daily Awards received more than 350 entries from corporations, public relations agencies, government agencies and non-profit organizations contending in 45 categories in traditional public relations and social media. Ragan’s PR Daily Awards will be announced in late-June and are judged by public relations experts, the editors of Ragan.com, PR Daily, HR Communication and Health Care Communication News. Award categories include traditional, digital/social media, annual report, branding and marketing, community relations/special campaigns, talent and Best PR Campaign of the Year.

To learn more about our custom media and social media campaigns, please feel free to reach out to us.

Dittoe PR media coverage highlight reel: Feb. 18-22, 2013

At Dittoe PR, we love telling our clients’ stories to the media – and it shows! From The New York Times to key industry trade publications, Dittoe PR clients made headlines this week.

  • Klipsch headphones received a shout out in The New York Times this week as a premium headphone brand with “realistic sound and value.” The Absolute Sound also included the Klipsch Heresy III in its March 2013 issue as one of The Absolute Sound’s Editors’ Choice Awards winners.
  • Drake’s and Survivor winner Rupert Boneham appeared on FOX59 to encourage viewers to come watch their favorite local celebrities play darts for a good cause. Come join the fun on Wed., Feb. 27 at Drake’s Indianapolis location at 3740 E. 82nd St.
  • Smarter Remarketer’s successful customer retargeting program with Shoe Carnival was featured in Direct Marketing News.
  • ISM College Planning’s Bill Wozniak was interviewed by WSBT radio in Michiana about college planning and FAFSA preparation. WIBQ radio in Terre Haute also spoke with Bill about this important and timely topic.
  • Green BEAN Delivery’s delivery of 2,200 pounds of fresh produce to a Cincinnati food bank put healthy foods in the homes that need it most.
  • STORServer’s launch of its new Virtual Appliance was featured in Channelpro Network and Database Trends and Applications, and its free TSM upgrade was highlighted in Search SMB Storage. The company’s new channel manager hire also made local and trade publication news.
  • Zotec’s RMBA sponsorship renewal also made industry headlines.
  • The Cellular Connection (TCC)’s new flagship store designs were featured in the World Interior Design Network and Commercial Construction & Renovation.

Need to spread the word about your organization? Let’s talk about how Dittoe PR can help.

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