Teaching Crisis PR

Posted by Dan Keeney
Crisis PR Public Relations Planning Preparation Training
Crisis PR can help to protect an organization or encourage long-term change.

I stumbled upon the story, “PR Students Learn How to Handle Crisis for Clients,” in the Cape May County Herald written by Al Campbell.

I am not 100 percent sure where Cape May County is, but it appears to be in Pennsylvania. Regardless, I think it’s great that their local community college is giving students an opportunity to explore public relations generally and crisis PR specifically.

A few nuggets from the story include:

  • It is important to keep the public informed by use of every available means.
  • Since Sept. 11, 2001, organizations are more focused on preparedness.
  • The most important thing in a crisis is to be able to refer to a plan so you are not scrambling.
  • If someone posts inaccurate information about your organization online, instead of engaging that person, it is best to simply post the truth from an official standpoint.
  • The first few hours should be considered the “golden hours” when it is essential to deliver the facts that are known in order to minimize baseless rumors and inaccuracies.
  • Whenever possible, it is best that a company chief executive should be the source of information in a crisis.

These are all very solid observations and it sounds like a very valuable class for these students.

Of course, in the real world what might seem like common sense can be pushed aside. Human nature is to resist the unwanted scrutiny and hunker down to work to fix whatever is messed up. The role of the crisis PR pro is often to advocate for taking the difficult path in which an organization must  acknowledge problems and mistakes, and begin the often painful process of change.



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This entry was posted on Thursday, December 1st, 2011 at 11:32 am and is filed under Crisis Planning, Public Relations Advice. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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