***Disclaimer: This is a satirical piece on how to start a PR crisis. Do not follow these tips. ***
We know you may still have a bad aftertaste of Pepsi in your mouth after their failed ad campaign with Kendall Jenner. And of course who can forget the United Airlines fiasco which seemed to drag on for weeks. But hey, the limelight is open for any company to jump in and divert the public’s attention away from them.
No takers? Here’s a few tips to help manage your next public crisis:
PR Crisis Tip 1: Do not consult with subject matter experts.
Don’t listen to “subject-matter-experts”. What do they REALLY know? To break through the messaging clutter, you have to think outside the box. Rules are meant to be broken and the status quo must be shaken! You can’t do that if you listen to the same “experts” other companies are listening to. All the research tools you need are on the internet. Just Google or YouTube “DIY” tutorials.
PR Crisis Tip 2: Don’t ask your audience.
Just like subject matter experts, you don’t want to listen to your audience. The purpose here is to redefine their perception of what things are and what they should be. As long as you have eyes and ears, you can connect with how your audience can feel. Asking your audience takes too much time and money. NOT WORTH IT.
PR Crisis Tip 3: Throw a celebrity in there for the heck of it.
Who doesn’t like seeing a well-known celebrity being the voice of a brand? It reinforces a brand’s credibility when you place a well-known person as your brand spokesperson. The magic happens when a celebrity suddenly becomes associated with your brand. Congratulations, you now have a walking advertisement! Everyone loves seeing a celebrity that has nothing to do with whatever it is you are advertising.
PR Crisis Tip 4: Lose control of the situation.
If the battle is lost, what’s the point in wasting resources? The situation will die down eventually. People’s memory will fade and life will go on. If your product or service is good enough, people will always continue to be your customer.
PR Crisis Tip 5: Rush to conclusions.
The masses and media will always sensationalize an issue- blowing it out of proportion. It’s better to give them a quick response and move on. All people really want is for you to acknowledge a problem.
PR Crisis Tip 6: Apologize as a last resort.
Nobody likes those people who keep saying sorry in almost everything they do. “Sorry, I like to laugh a lot” or “Sorry, I don’t know”- people will find you annoying if you keep saying, “SORRY”! If it turns out that your organization is to blame for the situation, and an acknowledgement is not enough, apologizing should be the last resort. But only if all other options fail keeping people quite.
I hope these tips, in some strange way, have inspired in you some ideas on how to manage your PR emergency…OR perhaps they have inspired you to consider rebranding your entire organization? Either way, the branding and public relations experts at TriVision are here to help!
Written By: Carlos Cruz