In light of the pandemic we thought we’d share some crisis control tips from guerrilla publicity as its relevant for this time.
“Crises and deadlocks when they occur have at least this advantage, they force us to think.” —Jawaharlal Nehru, former Indian Prime Minister
Your brand, your business or product name, is your most important asset and once you’ve established it, it must be protected at all costs. Otherwise it can destroy your business.
Every book seems to include a warning about Murphy’s Law— and our book is no exception. When you’re working to publicize your product or service, whatever can go wrong will go wrong. Mistakes will be made; accidents and screw-ups will occur. If you’re not prepared to deal with them, they can take you down. When something bad does occur, you need to act immediately. Fix the problem and face the public or else you’ll lose the trust and confidence of both consumers and the financial community—and you might never get them back.
What to do
In business, it’s all about trust. Trust takes years to create, but can be destroyed in an instant. Your customers or clients want products and services that work, that won’t fall apart, and that will do their job. (It’s what they’re paying for.) Furthermore, they want you to stand firmly behind your goods, without excuses or blame. When disasters occur, your first concern should be to do everything in your power to restore your customers’ confidence because if you don’t, you’re gambling with your business’ future.
As soon as you learn of a disaster in your business, confront it, don’t avoid it. Call a press conference to inform the world that you’re accessible
and willing to face it. Stand up and take your punishment. At the press conference, show that you care by:
- Admitting the problem. Own up that it occurred.
- Apologizing. State that it shouldn’t have happened, express your sorrow, and explain why it happened.
- Assuring your customers. Tell the public that you’ve taken steps to see that it won’t occur again.
- Investigating the cause. If you don’t know why it occurred, say that the cause has not yet been deter- mined, but an in-depth investigation is underway. Immediately investigate the disaster and how similar disasters can be prevented.
- Taking responsibility. Clearly and specifically state how you’re addressing the consequences of disaster and the specific steps you’re taking to assure that it won’t happen again.
- Informing the media. Keep the media informed on all changes and developments. Issue frequent press releases and post the most recent information on your Web site and blog.
When Odwalla’s juices were pulled from the market because consumers got sick after drinking them, the company acted promptly and decisively to protect its good name. It held press conferences and issued press releases to inform the public of its test results and steps it was taking to address problems. By acting quickly and being honest, Odwalla was viewed as a concerned and responsible company and was able to minimize the damage that could have ruined its brand.
Join publicity expert Jill Lublin as she shares new powerful tips and strategies to shine your light and your message now and no matter what!