Experiencing a PR crisis isn’t necessarily a reflection of your brand or your ability to build a great team—but your ability to prepare and respond to one is. 

In times of crisis, leaders find themselves needing to act quickly and decisively. And when stress is high, there is no time to wait for a bottleneck of approvals or second-guess your response. Time after time, our clients express that they wish they would have had an established relationship with a PR firm before they experienced an organizational crisis. 

Warren Buffet once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

Recognizing the need to “do things differently” isn’t enough. Today, the difference between the leaders that spin out during a crisis and those that come out on top is two-fold: the ability to identify your vulnerabilities and to react decisively. Read on to learn how to better tackle both.

Monitor Vulnerabilities Within Your Brand

The first step of organizational crisis preparedness lies in identifying key vulnerabilities. When business is good and external perceptions of your brand are positive, this process can fall by the wayside. This is when identifying potential harm is most critical as it’s your chance to proactively assess your brand. Go department by department and regularly take a hard look at where issues could arise and what areas need patching.

Questions to reflect upon:

  • Are you experiencing negative reviews?
  • Do you know of disgruntled employees?
  • Is your social media strategy trained to identify early signs of a crisis?
  • Was there a crisis in your past that could recirculate?
  • Did you make relevant changes to avoid a recurring crisis?
  • Is your leadership team aligned on vulnerability identification and response?

Leaders who are blindsided by an attack on their brand are much more likely to second-guess their response and lose critical response time.

Free Content: Download our 10-Step Crisis Communication Survival Guide

Press the Truth and Gain Control

Time is of the essence when a crisis first breaks and leaders can feel a sudden loss of control in their situation. This is the brand they’ve worked to build each day. Suddenly losing control over your livelihood and watching things spin out of control is scary enough to convince leaders to take a step back. But, that’s a mistake.

To regain control, leaders need to seize the initiative and react decisively before those outside your organization take control of your narrative. Knowing how to immediately respond to a sensitive situation is a tall order. You need to deliver the right message at the right time to those who matter most in your situation. Today, the most resilient companies know which communities and avenues to use to quickly get their message out and regain normalcy. At Red Banyan, we Press the Truth with proactive communication to get our clients’ messages out.

Lean on an Expert Team

Leaders of companies of all sizes are often far too busy to give their public relations the attention it deserves. With the influx of cancel culture and the speed of crisis in a digital world, more companies lean on the expertise of a dedicated crisis PR firm. Right now, you can make the decision to be proactive about your public relations strategy so the reputation you’ve built for years isn’t tattered or canceled in minutes.

Watch: CEO Evan Nierman’s TEDx Talk Never Tell the Truth

Red Banyan’s crisis communications team handles media relations, messaging strategy, media affairs, interview preparation, and content creation. We can help you identify threats and vulnerabilities, determine who is affected, and develop ways to champion what could otherwise destroy your reputation. We specialize in problem-solving in high-stress situations with an aggressive approach to minimizing reputation damage. 

Reach out to the Red Banyan team today to join the leaders that choose to be proactive in their crisis preparedness. Already in crisis? Deploy our team for an immediate, strategic response.