April 13, 2015
By: Elizabeth Papas, @elizabethpapas_
I woke up Wednesday morning and checked every single social media platform, before actually making the commitment to leave my bed. While I scrolled through my Twitter feed, I came across a tweet that truly struck my inner foodie. The tweet read RECALL, and was accompanied by the label of my favorite hummus brand. On Wednesday, Sabra Hummus sent out a press release explaining the company’s recall of 30,000 cases of its classic style hummus. The recall was a result of listeria contamination in a random sampling of their product. As a regular consumer of Sabra’s products, I was immediately concerned and felt mistrust toward the brand.
As aspiring PR professionals, we might be faced with a client crisis, similar to Sabra’s hummus recall. It can be imperative to our client’s business, and reputation, that we are able to handle crisis in an effective and timely manner. In order to prepare for crisis, we can familiarize our selves with these three crisis management tips.
1. Be Aware
Before sending out any information to the public, it is important to fully understand what the situation is and why it has happened. Being aware of the crisis can make explaining the situation to the public much easier. In addition, listen to the brand’s audience on social media, and gauging consumer’s reactions might help pin point the most effective way for the brand to address the crisis.
2. Be Honest
Once it becomes time to distribute information to the public, it is important for the information to be honest and accurate. Encouraging clients to remain transparent throughout the heat of the crisis can help maintain and restore trust with consumers. Honesty will also help in preventing the brand from attracting any additional problems.
3. Open Channels of Communication
After addressing the crisis to the public, be sure to encourage consumers to contact the company with questions or concerns. Opening the channels of communication between the company and consumers can ensure the public that the brand has nothing to hide. In addition, it might be helpful to address consumer’s concerns directly on social media. For example, returning a negative tweet regarding the crisis with a positive proactive comment.
It is true that crisis does and will occur; however, being prepared to act appropriately in the situation can save a client’s business. Therefore, if one is found in a moment of crisis it can be helpful to recall these three simple tips.