How Fast Is Fast? The Miracle Of Effective Crisis Management Strategies

There are several issues that have already happened in the past that have caused irreparable damage to reputation and trust.

The first example is the United Airlines passenger removal incident that happened in 2017, where the airline needed to free up space on an overbooked flight. It happened when no volunteers showed up to voluntarily give up their seats. This resulted in a traumatic experience for the passengers and widespread social media backlash, thus causing damage to the airline’s reputation and management trust. Second is the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in 2010, in which an BP-operated oil well sank and led to release of millions of barrels of oil, making it one of the largest U.S. marine oil spills in history. As the crisis happened, the company faced major criticism for its massive environmental impact. And lastly, in 2018, when KFC ran out of chicken, one of the most unforgettable events happened in the face of a PR crisis. However, what distinguishes KFC from other companies’ PR issues is that they turn negative stories into positive brand crisis management plans and even get support from the public. These are just some of the many examples of good and bad crisis management issues in real-life that we hope will not be repeated.

In this case, speed is the driving force behind mitigating relevant PR crises; without this, long-term consequences will leave a negative impression on the company.

The Importance of Speed in PR Crisis Response

When a public relations crisis strikes, it is critical to act fast. Public relations professionals must quickly assess the situation and communicate accurate information to the appropriate audiences. A quick response allows your organization to stay ahead of the story, correct misinformation, and protect its reputation.

The time it takes a company to respond to a crisis may ultimately determine its fate. Businesses that address a crisis within the first hour have an 85% higher chance of maintaining public trust than those that take longer (PRSA).

News travels quickly, teams can stay up to date on real-time global events. As a result, public relations teams must respond quickly and accurately to issues that can seriously harm a brand’s reputation. 63% of customers anticipate a public response from a business within an hour of a crisis occurring (Edelman).

Although every crisis is unique, acting quickly is always indispensable. Delaying significant action allows false narratives and rumors to gain traction. PR professionals need to act quickly in response to social media’s fast-paced news cycle, or else events will quickly surpass them. Idle time breeds erosion when trust within the organization is at stake. That’s why handling public relations crises requires quick thinking and decisive action.

Reducing Confusion and Fear

In the wake of a crisis, confusion and anxiety often reign supreme. The initial moments are crucial, and people crave clarity and reassurance. Swift communication becomes our light in this darkness, providing accurate and timely information that acts as a shield against speculation and the spread of misinformation. By addressing concerns promptly, we not only alleviate panic but also contribute to the effective management of the situation.

During crises, the human mind is wired to seek information rapidly to make sense of the unfolding events. When organizations fail to deliver timely updates, a void is created, leading to the proliferation of rumors and conjectures. Swift communication becomes our antidote, filling this void with verified information and effectively reducing confusion and anxiety among stakeholders.

Minimizing Impact

In any type of crisis, time is of greater importance. The longer it takes for an organization to deliver information about a crisis, the greater the potential for damage to escalate. Consider a scenario like a data breach – delayed communication with affected customers can result in a significant loss of trust. Stakeholders may start seeking alternatives from competitors who demonstrate a quicker and more transparent response.

Organizations that respond swiftly to crises not only mitigate the immediate damage but also fare better in terms of long-term reputation management. The speed of our response becomes a critical factor in shaping the trajectory of the crisis and molding stakeholder perceptions.

Maintaining Stakeholder Security

In times of crisis, the safety and well-being of our stakeholders take center stage. Whether it’s a product recall, a cybersecurity breach, or a calamity, timely communication is the linchpin to safeguarding our employees, customers, and partners.

It’s an obligation for stakeholders to expect real-time updates and guidance from organizations during crises. A delayed response can lead to increased uncertainty, potentially putting lives and livelihoods at risk. As PR professionals, our commitment to ensuring stakeholder safety is manifested through swift and decisive communication strategies. By providing timely information, instructions, and reassurance, we not only fulfill our duty to our stakeholders but also contribute to the overall resilience of the organization in the face of adversity.

Embracing Technology for Swift Communication

In the digital age, the tools at our disposal have revolutionized the speed at which we can communicate during crises. Social media platforms, instant messaging, and real-time notification systems have become integral to our crisis communication arsenal. These technologies enable us to reach a vast audience rapidly and efficiently, ensuring that our messages cut through the noise and reach those who need them most.

It is more advantageous when organizations leverage technology for crisis communication to experience enhanced responsiveness and stakeholder engagement. From X updates to mobile alerts, the integration of technology allows us to maintain an open line of communication with stakeholders, fostering transparency and trust even in the most challenging circumstances.

Is your organization ready to enhance its crisis communication strategy? Our all-encompassing crisis management platform is designed to empower your team to respond swiftly and efficiently in times of crisis. At Brown Bag Communications (BBCOMM), we are eager to assist you in reinforcing your business’s resilience and ensuring its safety.

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