Look, you might never find yourself in the middle of a PR crisis as bad as the ones faced by the likes of BP and Toyota, but just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you’re immune to controversy. You never know when you could find yourself in hot water, and if you don’t respond properly, the problem will worsen and your credibility could be irrevocably shot to pieces.
Here are a few of the mistakes companies often make during a PR crisis that can cause their customers to stop trusting them.
- Take too long to issue a response—Waiting too long to issue a response during a PR crisis looks suspicious. You can’t just stay silent and hope that the problem will magically go away. It won’t It will only get worse because your customers will assume that you’re hiding something, and since you’re not out there telling your side of the story, they’ll have no other choice than to believe what they’re hearing about you.
- Lie or conceal the truth—Unfortunately, the general public has been trained to believe that most companies can’t be trusted. Too many corporations flat out lie or try to hide the truth. Be better than that. If you’ve made a mistake, admit it and issue a sincere apology.
- Not offer a plan for fixing the problem—The public can be more forgiving than you might think, but they need to be reassured that you won’t make the same mistakes again. If you want to keep their trust, you need to have a clear plan for resolving the issue and preventing it from happening again.
Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a PR disaster? How did you handle it?