Friday, March 20, 2009

Burton PR Director Shana Frahm on Crisis Communications

I recently spoke on the Group Y panel discussion on "How to Maximize PR Opportunities & Expand Brand Awareness" the panelists includes myself, Shana Frahm and Chris Overholser  PR Director for Vans. There were some awesome takeaways.

Here is Shana's tips for PR Crisis Communications:

"When approaching a crisis situation in your company, it is very important to keep the senior management in the loop at all times as you are making your decisions. It's also important to inform them of any changes/developments as they happen. In addition, never approach the heads of your company with the problem without having at least 3 different solutions for your company to choose from to resolve the problem.

Other things you will need:

1. A crisis communications plan that includes what you want to say and when you want to say it: to the public, your employees and the press.
2. Your company statement on the crisis. If the crisis involves third parties or perhaps athletes who have other sponsors, make sure that you have an ongoing friendly relationship with the other companies involved so that they know what you're saying and you know what they're saying.
3. A "Q&A" that contains any negative questions that you might be asked and how your company wants to answer them.
4. Assign a designated spokesperson. Depending on the importance of the situation, you may want the PR department or the head of your company to speak.
5. Make sure that your legal and HR departments are in the loop on what you are doing. They should review all of your communications before you send them out, especially since PR is usually only responsible for journalist communications, and not the welfare of your staff or sponsored athletes.

There are many more elements to consider with regard to crisis communications and I highly recommend hiring an outside crisis PR firm that you can call on to help you get through tough situations. Many companies will work with you on a case-by-case basis, and its always best to have a few firms on hand for emergencies."

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1 comment:

  1. Great stuff, thanks so much for sharing. I thought the recommendation to maintain good relationships with connected companies was an interesting and valuable tip.