Crisis communications

Recognising a crisis – or a potential crisis – and managing its repercussions effectively underpins any successful PR strategy, regardless of the industry. It’s essential to consider how a crisis could arise, how it would be best managed and how damage would be minimised.

A ‘crisis’ can vary in meaning dependent upon a business’ size, sector, or staff, etc. Our team is perfectly equipped to handle crisis communications across various sectors, including retail and leisure, property, local government, professional services, manufacturing and hospitality.

At Influential, our unrivalled media contacts allow us to stay one step ahead, ensuring your brand is protected and that everything is done to ensure your side of the story is told in the best possible way. We know that we cannot always stop a journalist running a story (they’re doing their job, after all!), but we can use our experience and expertise to limit any damage and be fully prepared for press enquiries and social media reactions.

Here’s a snapshot of how we can help you to deal with a crisis, prevent a potential crisis escalating and, most importantly, protect your reputation…

CONSUMER CRISIS MANAGEMENT

If you are a consumer-facing brand, potential crises can arise in the form of store closures, product recalls, technical faults or criminal activity from customers. From the minute an incident happens, we will monitor for media coverage, ensuring that all enquiries are managed effectively and, importantly, responsibly.

We will ensure that all team members are kept up to date with communication to media, guiding you through any press interviews that may be required. It’s essential that your visitors/customers maintain their loyalty to your brand and feel reassured in the wake of a crisis, and we will work with you post-crisis to develop a strategy that focuses on the positive news you have to tell.

COMPANY ADMINISTRATIONS

The unexpected closure of a company can trigger a wave of reactions from multiple channels – from media and customers to staff and stakeholders. We work with both businesses who are winding down and those acting as administrators, to field enquiries from the press, as well as advising on how to effectively communicate changes with employees and other interested parties.

 

EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNALS/COURT CASES

Staying one step ahead of a crisis is key and this is essential when it comes to hostile employment tribunals or court cases where a client could be named. We can work with you to attend hearings to ensure you are fully prepared to respond across both digital and traditional media, facilitating any interviews that may be required.

BOARDROOM DISPUTES

Internal disputes between c-suite members can often attract media interest, risking disagreements or grievances being played out in the press, leading to potential damage to your brand. Our team can put a strategy in place to mitigate enquiries from journalists, working with you to establish an official line of comment at the different stages of a dispute, with the aim of limiting – or eliminating – negative media coverage.

 

PROJECT FAILURES/DELAYS 

Whether you’re experiencing an unprecedented delay to a construction schedule or you’re dealing with the impact of a project failure, we can advise on the best course of action to not only mitigate unfavourable press, but to also establish crystal clear lines of communication between all partners to build – or, indeed, rebuild – trust. We understand that project delays can have a ripple effect on various customers and stakeholders, so we will work with you hand-in-hand to minimise their effect.

RESPONDING TO PUBLIC BACKLASH/INDUSTRY REPORTS

Despite robust crisis management plans being in place, it can sometimes be impossible to predict how the public will respond to an event or industry report, for example. We can swiftly imbed ourselves within your team to identify the best way to shift public perception, using a mixture of media relations, social listening and direct contact with high profile media contacts.

 

REPUTATION RESTORATION

While dealing with a crisis can often be an intense, time-consuming activity, it is important to consider what happens after it has been solved and/or limited. As such, we can devise a strategy to carefully restore your restoration after a crisis, tailoring our approach to your company’s priorities, timescales and budget.

 

FATAL ACCIDENTS/UNEXPECTED INCIDENTS

Responding sensitively is key in the wake of a fatal accident or major incident. Our experts will ensure that reactive holding statements are ready to go as quickly as possible, working with emergency services media teams where appropriate, so that you are fully aligned with messages being externally communicated and that you are aware of updates in real-time.

WHAT NEXT?

The activity following a crisis is often just as important as that during the crisis management itself. Our team will implement a robust monitoring system to ensure your key messages have been communicated in the most effective way possible and that your reputation remains intact. The success of our crisis comms strategy will be measured on factors such as visitor numbers, consumer spend, sales figures, stakeholder perception, etc.

Want to know more? How about enrolling your team in one of our bespoke crisis comms workshops? Our team of media professionals will take you through a series of sessions, tailored specifically to your brand and potential crises you could encounter.

Or, why not chat to us about how we can put together a crisis communications strategy for your business, complete with ‘ready-to-go’ holding statements, media coaching for key staff and media Q&As.

Get in touch below to find out more.

 

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