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!

Now Hiring: Talented Account Coordinator or Executive Needed

Calling all PR pros! We have an immediate opening for an Account Coordinator or Account Executive position.

 

Account Coordinators are responsible for assisting in the execution of strategic public relations initiatives on behalf of the firm’s clients. This entry-level position is an opportunity for a smart, self-starting, detail-oriented individuals to develop a well-rounded roster of public relations skills and contribute to a variety of Dittoe Public Relations’ clients. The ideal candidate will have strong communication skills (both verbal and written), creativity, high energy and an outgoing personality. A strong emphasis is placed on media relations, research and analysis, reporting and client communication.

 

Account Executives are responsible for developing and executing strategic public relations initiatives on behalf of the firm’s clients. The ideal candidate will have excellent communication skills (both verbal and written), strong creativity, high energy and an outgoing personality. A strong emphasis is placed on media relations, strategic account management and client communication. We need self-starters and team players who enjoy spreading the word for the firm’s clients.

 

Limited travel may be required for press tours, trade shows and client meetings. Preference will go toward those with relevant professional work or internship experience in public relations or a related field (agency experience is a plus). Salary will reflect level of experience and includes a great benefits package. Other perks include a gym membership, breakfast on Fridays, a weekly half-day work from home policy, summer flex hours, Wine Wednesdays, the “Wheel of Celebration” to celebrate birthdays and work anniversaries, breakfast/lunch & learns, unlimited vacation time and paid maternity/paternity leave.

 

Account Coordinator Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in public relations, journalism, marketing, English or a related field
  • Internships or 1-2 years of relevant professional work experience in public relations or a related field (agency experience is a plus)
  • Smart, creative, assertive and innovative individual who thrives in an extremely fast-paced environment
  • Flexibility and willingness to collaborate with teams
  • Must be a versatile writer with both creative and technical writing experience
  • Must demonstrate an understanding of media relations (direct experience is a plus)
  • Proven ability to effectively prioritize and manage multiple tasks and competing deadlines
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Knowledge in social media, design, photography/videography are a plus

 

Account Executive Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in public relations, journalism, marketing, English or a related field
  • At least two years of full-time, relevant experience in public relations or a related field (agency experience is a plus)
  • Smart, creative, assertive and innovative individual who thrives in an extremely fast-paced environment
  • Flexibility and willingness to collaborate with teams
  • Must be a talented and versatile writer with both creative and technical writing experience
  • Media relations experience with a successful track record of pitching and securing opportunities
  • Successful track record of developing strategic public relations and social media campaigns
  • Proven ability to manage multiple client accounts in a variety of industries
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Knowledge in social media, design, photography/videography are a plus

 

For more information about these and other positions, visit our Careers page. To apply, send your cover letter, resume with references, and writing samples to Greta Snell at greta@dittoepr.com.

Dittoe Public Relations Aces Third BMW Championship

At Dittoe PR, we pride ourselves on truly becoming an extension of our clients’ marketing teams, and that’s why so many of our clients have partnered with us for numerous years.

 

The Western Golf Association (WGA) is one of our favorite examples. The organization conducts the BMW Championship, the penultimate event in the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs, and oversees the sole beneficiary of the prestigious event—the Evans Scholars Foundation, which provides full college tuition and housing scholarships to students with financial need and strong caddie and academic records.

 

Every other year, the BMW Championship is played in the Chicago area. In off years, it rotates between a handful of different cities across the U.S, including Indianapolis. The WGA has always been strict about its policy to partner with a local PR agency in each market to promote the tournament.

 

Our team was fortunate to handle the public relations for the BMW Championship in 2012 and 2016—the only two times the tournament was played in Central Indiana (Carmel, to be exact). We were responsible for securing local media coverage, producing content to drive consumer interest, and planning and running Media Day as well as other promotional events leading up to the tournament. In addition, our team was on-site at the golf course at all times throughout tournament week.

 

In 2013 and 2014, the WGA also contracted Dittoe PR to handle media relations for the Hotel Fitness Championship, a Web.com Tour event in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

 

Our PR campaigns for the BMW Championship and Hotel Fitness Championship were such a success that the WGA selected Dittoe PR to lead its PR efforts for the 2017 BMW Championship in Lake Forest, Illinois. This marked the first time the organization selected a firm outside of the local market.

 

Of course, we were beyond thrilled and honored for the opportunity, but we also knew we had our work cut out for us to achieve the same results in Chicago that we did in Indiana. For one, Chicago is a much larger media market, ranking No. 3 on the Nielsen Designated Market Areas list compared to Indianapolis, which always hovers around No. 27. Chicago is also home to more professional sports teams and organizations than Indianapolis. And, the city’s North Shore hosts the BMW Championship every other year, while the tournament has only come to Central Indiana twice.

 

One of Dittoe PR’s primary objectives was to secure media coverage for the tournament several months leading up to the event, which can be especially difficult when you’re competing with the Chicago Blackhawks and Bulls during their playoff seasons, the kick-off of the Cubs season and constant Bears coverage.

 

One of our ‘secrets’ to our success in the Indy market are the strong relationships we have with local media members. At the very onset of our PR campaign for the 2017 BMW Championship, we decided to take our account team’s networking talents to the Windy City! We set up brief meetings with top producers and media personalities at the local TV and radio stations as well as reporters at the local print and digital publications. We introduced ourselves and learned how we could best accommodate their tournament coverage and help with any golf-related content throughout the spring and summer.

 

Our in-person meetings paid off. Throughout the spring and summer, we were able to consistently secure media coverage and new opportunities to promote the tournament. We used a number of story angles to get the word out. From highlighting local tournament volunteers in their community newspapers to touting a Father’s Day ticket package on morning radio talk shows to promoting a week-long interactive event at Riverside Plaza in downtown Chicago on local TV newscasts, our team worked tirelessly to keep the BMW Championship in the news throughout the six months leading up to the tournament.

 

In addition to media relations, we planned and executed the 2017 BMW Championship Media Day at Conway Farms in mid-August. We handled nearly every aspect of the event, including creating and sending invitations, drafting talking points for each speaker, producing a multimedia slideshow, coordinating a Skype interview with PGA TOUR player Paul Casey, facilitating on-site media interview requests, developing media kits, organizing gift bags, and working with the A/V company on all technical needs.

 

Months of planning resulted in a seamless Skype interview with Casey, well-prepped speakers, a flawless presentation, and ultimately, an incredibly successful event promoting the tournament’s return to Conway Farms.

 

In total, 78 members of the media attended Media Day and we secured 26 pieces of coverage within 24 hours.

 

From Media Day through tournament week (Sept. 12-17), our PR push never slowed down, and we were able to achieve the same results in Chicago in 2017 that we did in Indianapolis in 2012 and 2016.

 

From April to mid-September 2017, our team secured 249 local media stories, resulting in 176,936,443 media impressions and a publicity value of $2,659,466.

Page 1 of 912345...Last »