By Dan Janal, Small Business PR Expert
The old saying goes, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”
- Your bookkeeper runs off with this week’s payroll to pay for her gambling addiction.
- A key executive is arrested for drunk driving – again.
- A customer complains about a product they didn’t like or a service they thought was sub par.
- Your building catches fire and burns down.
- Your company name happens to be the same as a multi-billion dollar, international company with the same name.
- The company president dies.
- The company becomes a takeover target.
- A former employee comes to the office with a gun and starts shooting.
- A negative review for one of your products appears online.
- Tell the truth.
- Don’t stonewall.
- Appoint one person as spokesperson.
- Let everyone at the company know that only the spokesperson can talk to the media, and that if they get a call from a reporter then they should refer the reporter to the spokesperson.
- Think visually. Have photos and logos ready for the media.
- Decide where you will hold a press conference. Your office? A company meeting room? Outside the company headquarters? Think of what you want the TV viewer to see while the spokesperson is being interviewed.
- Assemble a crisis management team that can meet on a moment’s notice to brainstorm and act.
- Do a dry run press conference.
- Media train your spokesperson.
- Get to know the reporters who cover your company or industry now. That way they’ll know and trust you if a crisis occurs.