Basic Steps for Writing a Crisis Communication Press Statement
No matter how successfully the business develops, the crisis is part of the difficult path that all companies follow. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about an international corporation or a startup, a crisis can bring very big problems. In the era of the Internet, rumors spread with lightning speed, and only an adequate timely reaction in the information space can stop a tsunami that can wipe out any business.
A responsible public relations service must be ready for any situation, as the saying goes “if you want peace, prepare for war”, so a plan for writing a press release in a crisis should always be at hand. Foresight will make it possible not to waste precious time at an important moment and quickly respond to any circumstances. And according to research, it is press releases that are considered as a reliable source of data and information.
1. Preparation of information
At this stage, it is necessary to collect all possible information on the current situation. Understand what events preceded the crisis situation and became its cause. Organize your information in chronological order. This is also necessary in order not to miss important points and to understand for yourself what caused the problem. Only having information from A to Z, you can go to the manual for an explanation of further actions.
2. Define the target audience
Each press release has a purpose for writing, including a crisis one. You must understand exactly for whom it will be written. To determine your target audience, understand three questions:
- What caused the crisis – external circumstances, problems within the company, problems with customers;
- What is the purpose of writing a press release – explaining the situation, preventing its negative consequences, an apology;
- What kind of reaction do you expect after its release – you need to reassure the public, whitewash the name of the company, and distance yourself from some of its employees.
When these questions are answered, it becomes extremely clear for whom the press release is being written: for the public, for the company’s clients, or for the team. Accordingly, the media and Internet resources in which the message will be posted will be determined.
3. Consult guidance for the next steps
You must clearly understand what the company is going to do in this situation. This is the main task and purpose of informing the target audience. “We are going to look for new partners, the company has launched an internal investigation and all those responsible for the problem will be identified and punished, we will compensate for losses, etc.”
Most importantly, the response and promises must be commensurate with the problem. If your company made a small mistake, as a result of which, by and large, no one was hurt, there is no need to sprinkle ashes on your head and repent of all mortal sins. Conversely, if a problem has affected a large number of people or caused serious damage, it is impossible to pretend that almost nothing happened.
4. Plan your press release
The general plan of the crisis appeal is almost the same as the usual one. The standard sequence of presentation, but the key points and emphasis need to be placed a little differently:
- Title – briefly explain the content of the message, and its purpose;
- Review – here you tell what happened, whose fault it is (if appropriate), and state the key points of the information collected earlier, without details and chronology (if circumstances do not require it);
- Reaction – here you need to clearly state how the company relates to the current situation and what steps it is going to take to eliminate the negative consequences;
The call is the strongest part, which should explain to readers how to act in given circumstances. The information must be clear and accessible;
- Contact details – indicate the contacts of those people who can be contacted specifically on this issue and not just the phone number of the reception or the company’s website.
It is extremely important not to write a press release on emotions or get carried away when writing about people’s emotions. As a true professional, you must separate your personal response from your work. A press release is often the only way to quickly change the situation, to prevent a catastrophe. It should be written with a cool head and strict official language. Use a press release template to get started and customze it so that it perfectly represents your company.
5. Check your press release
The message must be written flawlessly and correctly. And since such press releases are written in the shortest possible time and very quickly, you cannot trust your verification. Use verification services and appropriate tools. Essay Tigers writing service, Grammarly have proven themselves well.
Remember, there are no unimportant moments in crisis communication. Everything matters here – the time of the press release, the information, the tone of the message, and the company’s reaction to circumstances. Follow this guide and the situation will be under control.