Crises are unpredictable and can happen at any time. How you respond in an emergency can make or break your business. Do you have a crisis response plan in place or will you have to come up with a plan of action on the fly? Do you know how to make online reputation repairs if your organization gets mired in the muck?

Businesses that successfully navigate crises plan for the worst and hope for the best. Looking into the future lets you map out a plan of action, figure out a variety of responses and anticipate how the media may react. Once the disaster subsides, it is essential that you maintain control of the narrative, have a comprehensive crisis communications in place and draw on community support.

Why Crisis PR Plans Matter

Crisis public relations planning helps you mitigate the damage a crisis can cause. Knowing what to do and who to contact when an emergency arises is half the battle. Trying to figure out which stakeholders you need to contact during a disaster is never a good way to operate. You should already have a disaster plan in place before a crisis even hits.

When disaster strikes, you have to act fast. Here are 5 repair tips from @RedBanyan to help you get back on track: Click To Tweet

Assembling a crisis response team and coming up with a communications and PR strategy is your first step. Being prepared is the best crisis response plan you can have. Having a crisis plan in plan allows you to craft your message, identify and address the affected stakeholders and monitor the situation as it develops. It is also helpful to have a media relations plan so you can reach out to reporters if you need to get a message out.

It is easier to tell your story yourself instead of responding to others’ version of the truth. Taking control of the narrative is a key element of crisis repair and response. What you do after the crisis is over and how you move forward can have a lasting effect on your brand. 

Crisis Repair Tips

Do you know what to do after a crisis occurs? Navigating the tricky waters of crisis communications is key to coming out on top. Online reputation rehabilitation is an important part of getting back to business and moving forward to the next level.

Here are some reputation repair tips:

1. Accept and own the problem. 

Whether the mistake is yours or the fault of someone else, acknowledge it, accept it and own it so you can begin to make amends and move forward. A key tenet of crisis response is taking ownership of the crisis and establishing a narrative that puts your organization in the best light. Mistakes happen. It is a part of life. Owning those mistakes and apologizing for any judgment errors will put you in a better light and make it easier to continue. Stay out front and control the damage. 

It is important to take control of the narrative from the start so you can share your version of the facts in your own way. A negative scenario can spiral out of control on social media in the blink of an eye. Get ahead of this dynamic so you oversee what is being said about your brand in the wake of the crisis. The less reputation repair you must do, the better.

2. Seek support from allies. 

Everyone is going to experience an emergency at one time or another. How you respond to that emergency will determine if you move forward successfully or suffer long-term damage. Friends and businesses associates who know your worth can validate your integrity and sincerity and help you turn the page. 

3. Show empathy. 

Companies that show they care about those affected by the crisis are more likely to be forgiven for any mistakes that may have contributed to the unfortunate turn of events. 

4. Do great work. 

When something goes wrong, it is easy to get discouraged. A big part of online reputation repair is showing that you will not be dissuaded from producing a quality work product. Do not let a mishap knock you off your track to success. Stay the course, do your best work and move forward with pride. 

5. Respond to social media comments, customer reviews. 

Find out what is being said about your brand online and respond to it. Explain what happened, own your mistakes if you made mistakes, and address all customer concerns so your brand is not viewed as unresponsive and detached. A timely response to customer reviews will reflect well on your company.

When a crisis occurs, don’t panic. Assemble your crisis response team, assess the damage and then take control of the narrative so you can tell your story in your own way.