When you think of a PR Crisis, you think about companies similar to Apple, KFC, and McDonald’s. What about the smaller, local businesses? Sure, there isn’t as much media coverage and number of consumers, but your reputation as a small business can make or break your success as a local business owner.
There are several crisis’ small businesses may face:
- Employees caught stealing or drunk driving
- Negative reviews and complaints
- Rumors regarding a company takeover or going out of business
- Small town politics
- Crime affecting your business (Robbery, Burglary, Stealing)
How should you handle these sort of situations? Understanding Marketing helped break it down to 5 easy steps.
1: Always be open. Communication has to be ongoing with or without a crisis; never stonewall; tell the truth. Appoint a spokesperson to keep open the lines of communication. Always ensure that you are aware of the situation, and you will keep everyone updated as details/facts are confirmed.
2: Speaking of facts, gather them. Find facts that support the credibility and reputation of your business. Prepare anything and everything the media may need: logos, pictures, statements, ect. That way you can carefully hand over information in an organized fashion.
3: It’s not about you; it is about others around you. Bring in back up: third-party credibility. Bringing in experts or loyal patrons to confirm your credibility can always help.
4: Get the public on your side. This is where social media can be a powerful tool in a PR crisis. Spread the word on your Twitter, Facebook, and Blog to reach the public and build support.
5: Bring cameras inside. Bring the media inside the company. This can give the media and the public an inside look of your business. This can help increase their understanding of your operations and daily challenges. Show that you have nothing to hide.
Here’s an example of a PR Crisis with a local Domino’s branch. How would you handle this crisis if you were the manager of this Domino’s store?