Any company or individual can find themselves in the midst of a full-blown public crisis, but panicking doesn’t help. Red Banyan’s social media and crisis communications experts handle PR emergencies regularly and know through experience that the outcome does not have to be grim. 

In addition to seeking professional guidance, here are five things you should do first when a media meltdown occurs:

  1. Listen to the arguments being made against you or your organization and determine if they are valid. This is the first step to surviving and successfully weathering a public crisis. 
  2. Do not immediately react. Remain calm. Whether it is out of instinct or anger, someone who learns he or she is the focus of a public storm will often immediately push back against accusations or criticisms. This can lead to disclosing information that later proves damaging, appearing tone deaf, or causing otherwise disinterested parties to weigh-in against you and make things worse.
  3. Make sure you understand the arguments being made and the overall sentiments of critics. It is important to research news stories, online forums, and social media platforms to gauge how big the crisis seems to be, and understand the overall public perspective.
  4. Assess whether the crisis is growing and how damaging it could become. Secure a solid grasp of the situation before you decide how you will address it.
  5. Plan, prepare and execute an effective communications strategy. Adjust your communications strategy as needed, measure your results, and internalize the lessons learned so that they can serve you down the road.