PR Crisis Response: 3 Key Elements

No brand or corporation is fully immune to a PR crisis, regardless of the size of the business, or the industry that it operates in. In fact, about 70% of companies that have gone through a crisis went out of business within a year of that situation.

Fortunately, there is very little reason to believe that as soon as a PR crisis situation occurs, the company is going to go out of business.

All it really takes is having the right plan in place beforehand, and handling the situation with the right response.

With those two things, any business can withstand a difficult time and come out the other side relatively unharmed.


It doesn’t really matter who caused the crisis or what made the situation happen in the first place — the leader of the company should always take responsibility for it, especially in the eye of the public. This can be done traditionally, through a press release, where the company releases a statement where it owns up to the mistake, apologizes, and then explains what actions will be taken further to make the situation better.

It can also be done in a relatively more contemporary way, through a company video, where the business leader records an apology on behalf of the organization, and avoids putting any blame on anyone else, while providing information on how the company will be proceeding.


Whatever the company decides that the response should be, it should be done as quickly as possible. The best way to act fast in situations like these is to have plans in place for different crisis PR scenarios and an internal team that’s prepared to face these situations. The fastest way to create and deliver a response to the public is on social media platforms.

The longer that companies take to respond to a situation, the bigger the rumors are going to get about what might be happening behind the scenes. However, in rushing through the process, businesses should be sure that all information they’ll be providing to the public is honest and factual, to avoid creating an even bigger crisis later. In case the company doesn’t have all the information or answers it needs, that should be addressed in the response as well.


Finally, the third crucial element to great PR crisis management is responding honestly throughout the entire situation. It might be easy to avoid phone calls and quickly delete any old social media posts that the public has discovered, but doing so is only going to make things worse.

Instead of going down this route, showing the public and the customers that the company does care about the issue, and does value all its customers, is done best by being honest with the company’s responses. Being transparent all the time means a lot to customers, but during a crisis, it shows that they can count on the company no matter what, and will make them stay even longer.

Ronn Torossian is the CEO and Founder of 5W Public Relations. 5W PR is a leading digital pr and influencer marketing agency.

Ronn Torossian is CEO & Founder of 5WPR & one of America’s most notable PR executives. He is the Author of best-selling PR book, “For Immediate Release.“

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