When it comes to crisis public relations (PR), there are a million horror stories to identify what not to do. As a professional, it is your responsibility to paint the company in a positive light. No matter what happens, it is always advantageous to be open, honest, and transparent with the public. If the company makes a mistake, pride isn’t going to go over favorably with clients, shareholders, investors, or customers. The media will be all over it.
Luckily, when a company hires a team of skilled public relations professionals that abide by a code of professional ethics, they are responsible for coming up with a plan that keeps the company and its stakeholders accountable to their duties. The George Washington University (GWU) recently put together an informative infographic that illustrates five cases of PR done right.
When a company utilizes a team of trained professionals to handle crisis situations, emergency situations are that much less stressful on the entire team. Public relations teams are responsible for developing a plan for these types of disasters. What will they submit to the media? How will they communicate directly with their consumers? How will they address the issue internally? None of this is decided on the spot. There is always a generalized plan of action with an experienced PR team.
Through a highly engaging infographic, GWU illustrates five scenarios where PR was used to change a potentially negative situation into a positive or ethical alternative. For example, when the American Pharmacists Association and American Medical Association pressured CVS to stop selling tobacco, they took on the challenge. Although they knew this would cause a negative reaction, they publicly announced that this decision was made to promote health in all aspects of their brand. They received praise from President Barack Obama himself.