Public Relations Crisis – Types, Stages and Management

A business can get into troubled waters by making mistakes in various areas of the business. An example of an operational error is not collecting enough inventory to meet demand. A marketing representative may derive an insensitive response to a customer’s complaint or publish an advertising campaign that offends a certain segment of the population. Irresponsibility of marketing staff can lead to public relations crisis.

Main types of public relations crises

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1. Accidents and natural disasters

Plant fires, terrorist activities, explosions, vehicle accidents, epidemics or any other type of natural or man-made disasters that harm human lives belong to the category of accidents and disasters. The company can either take full responsibility or accept no fault in such situations.

2. Product, Staff service or mess

Problems such as a defective product, service, or those caused by employees fall into this category. This type of organizational crisis consists of deceiving customers for the benefit of the company. Employees fighting with each other are also part of this mess, leading to the risk of workplace violence.

3. Scandals

Shocking revelations about a senior or senior manager of a company involved in sexual activity, accounting mischief, and security practices are included in this category. They could also bring within their scope the personal life of the said employee.

4. Malicious attacks

Public discontent, actions initiated by regulators or competitors can cause a massive crisis in your business. Intention to falsify a company’s image can lead opponents or anyone with a grievance to hack company systems, illegally use products, or damage products to cause damage.

5. Technological problems

the applications crash or a technology malfunction is worrisome and may cause a company to face a serious public relations crisis. Software companies and e-commerce sites are losing leads and potential revenue, as well as the reputation they’ve built up over the years.

Stages of the crisis

Before focusing on a crisis management approach, it is essential to understand the phases of a crisis.

  1. Warning – Businesses are on the lookout for signs. However, it is not always possible to predict when or how a seizure may occur. These signs may relate to weather conditions, employee behavior, or company finances.
  2. Risk assessment – Key players in a business prepare for the worst-case scenario as the crisis becomes more visible. It is at this moment that they assess the hold of the situation on the actors.
  3. To respond – After examining the extent of the risk, the company decides on the crisis management plan. During this time, he informs customers and employees of the situation.
  4. Management – Resources assigned to rectify the crisis work on the resolution plan, the effects of the event, and any new or worse effects that may arise.
  5. Resolution – During this stage, most of the crisis is brought under control and plans to return to normal activity are launched.
  6. Recovery – The company is slowly getting back on track with the help of resolution plans.

Types of crisis management

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A business must try to overcome a crisis and take the necessary measures. Below are some standard crisis management processes.

1. Reactive crisis management

A crisis cannot be managed without having a plan of action ready for the current situation. In reactive crisis management, experts execute the plan and deal with any unexpected obstacles that may arise. This type of management is displayed to face human and financial crises where a rapid response is imperative.

Companies can create a plan to inform all stakeholders or adopt solutions to deal with the crisis.

2. Proactive crisis management

A business can be proactive when it anticipates a possible crisis and is already considering stopping it or preparing to combat it. While it is true that trying to prevent or plan ahead of a situation is not possible at all times, monitoring threats to the business can help it verify the impact of a potential crisis. .

For example, companies with offices in earthquake-prone areas have shock-resistant buildings and train their employees by sharing an evacuation plan.

3. Managing recovery crises

Sometimes companies don’t see the crisis coming and realize it is very late. Sometimes personnel and technological crises can blind a business, resulting in lasting negative impact. The company can save what is left of the situation. He can issue a public apology and investigate what led to the unexpected issues.

No business expects a PR crisis, but needs to be prepared for it. By understanding the types of crises, phases and types of crisis management, businesses can isolate themselves from the negative reputation and overcome the event.


Interesting related article: “What Does Public Relations Mean?” “