Unfortunately, PR disasters do happen, that’s a given. But how they are dealt with is what sets apart the brands that succeed, from those that don’t. In fact, many successful brands have managed to turn a seemingly disastrous event into a PR success. How, might you ask? One such disaster-turned-success happened last year when KFC had to resort to shutting down all its UK stores due to a chicken shortage. The KFC team ended up fielding 321 media enquiries over the first seven days – half of their annual average. There were also over 1,000 pieces of coverage globally across print, online and broadcast! Yet by cleverly taking control of the situation, they managed to turn the situation into a success, amusing customers with their tongue in cheek response.

PR disasters can happen to any brand. Make sure you’re covered with our tips for brands looking to bounce back from PR disasters:

  1. Get a message out quickly: Real-time monitoring is key to successfully handling a PR crisis. Brands looking to gain control of the situation should get a well-worded message out to followers as soon as is humanly possible! Even if you don’t have a lot to update consumers on, keeping your audience aware of the fact that you are aware of the issue and working towards resolving it is a crucial first step towards crisis management and handling issues like a pro.
  2. Take control of the conversation: In the world of social media, PR disasters spread like wildfire, with misinformation often following. To really damage control when disasters hit, brands must get onto social media and respond to followers talking about the issues. By focussing efforts on communicating with concerned customers, brands can take back control of the conversation whilst allowing consumers to feel as though their concerns are being addressed by a hands-on team.
  3. Add a human element: Offering comments from a spokesperson is always necessary, however, a faceless spokesperson is often hard to sympathise with. Rather than this, brands could consider creating a video to be hosted on their website and socials, offering their response on the issue. Not only does this open up the conversation, but it also adds a human element to the situation, which can help to soften public perception.
  4. Own up to your mistakes: Burying your head in the sand is the worst thing you can possibly do in the middle of a PR disaster. Instead, clever brands will take responsibility for any mistakes, apologise, rectify the situations and then…
  5. Move on! In a fast paced digital age, no sooner has a disaster occurred and the conversation has already moved on. Make sure to communicate with those concerned, but then turn your focus to the next thing and keep on moving forward!

All brands are ‘human’, and these disasters happen, but with these key tips we hope you can bounce back from anything! If you’re looking for some help with crisis/issues management and communications, it’s something we here at Agent99 do for some of our awesome clients. Head here to check out how this works and please get in touch today on 02 9779 0999.