Why prepare for a crisis communication and how it is related to Inbound PR?

The most important step in crisis communications is the preparation process.

The planning of the strategy and the steps of managing a communication crisis is the most vital part of crisis communications.

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Photo from Pexels

You should know your audiences.

Customized messages and approaches are used for different audiences like customers, employees, media, shareholders, stakeholders, community. Depending on the type of crisis (product or service malfunction, a breach, manufacturing problem, bankruptcy, theft, etc.) and its range and effect on each audience, your messages need to be clear, easy to understand, to hold an apology, to give a solution. Messages need to be sent on time.

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Iliyanastareva.com Inbound PR methodology
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Be honest and transparent. This builds trust.

It is vital to have a trustworthy relationship with journalists because they are the people who share your messages to the mass public. This way you have a voice in the public.

If you are mistaken, admit it.

Apologize. Be sincere and apologize in time. The more quickly you do so, the more quickly the communication crisis will be solved. Also, your apology needs to be genuine, it has to show empathy. Use simple words, without industry jargons and difficult to understand words and sentences. Always explain what had happened, what you are doing to fix the problem, what will be all outcomes, how you will take care of all impacted stakeholders like employees, community, investors. It is important to show actions that you are fixing what have been damaged.

People need to see the empathy in your spokesperson’s words.

Show and express emotion. Show your customers, employees, shareholders that you care. You are human, you have failed, but you have learnt from your mistake and you admit it and you take actions to make everything right.

During a crisis — repeat, repeat and repeat the same messages to your public.

When you have everyone’s on the team trained then they will know exactly what they need to reply to customers, employees, shareholders via different channels.

So, you have prepared for a crisis, you have outlined the communication plan and you have trained the crisis team.

The crisis strikes. Then what?

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Monitor media announcements, online behaviour and comments, and social media channels.

To better adapt your responses, you need to know what people are feeling and saying.

After you have mastered the crisis communication management process, then it is time for the crisis recovery.

You normalize the pace of communication of everything related to your company. This is the time when you learn the outcomes of the crisis and you improve your performance. You learn to communicate your strengths and corporate values, and to be honest and transparent. You also show the changes you have made.



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Iva Grigorova

Iva Grigorova


PR consultant, writing about communications topics and firmly believer that PR is linked to great results when built on data and creativity.