25 Question PR Crisis Checklist
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25 Question PR Crisis Checklist

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When a PR crisis strikes, where do you start? Every incident will be different but here are 25 key questions you need to think about in the heat of the moment. http://www.prcoach.co.uk/pr-help/

When a PR crisis strikes, where do you start? Every incident will be different but here are 25 key questions you need to think about in the heat of the moment. http://www.prcoach.co.uk/pr-help/

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    25 Question PR Crisis Checklist 25 Question PR Crisis Checklist Document Transcript

    • www.prcoach.co.uk Copyright © 2013 – Debbie Leven Page 1 of 3 25 Question PR Crisis Checklist It can feel overwhelming at the best of times when a PR crisis hits. There are so many aspects you need to consider and swift action you need to take. You won’t know what type of PR crisis you might face in the future but you can do some planning in advance to save yourself valuable time and hassle. If you have processes set out, responsibilities defined and materials to hand then you can focus on sorting out the issue and getting things back on track. Your 25 question PR crisis communications checklist It’s true, however, that many businesses and organisations won’t think about what they will need in a crisis until something happens. If you are in the middle of a crisis, then look at these 25 questions. Answering these will help you in handling the situation: 1. Are you clear about what has happened or do you need more information to clarify the situation? 2. Have you noted down a chronology of events? 3. Is there consensus from the key people about the chronology of events? 4. Have you assessed any immediate health and safety risk to people and taken steps to protect further possible harm or damage? 5. Are you clear about who knows this has happened? 6. Have you identified how people might get to hear about this incident? 7. Are you clear about who has what responsibilities in relation to handling the incident – operational, communications with key audiences, handling the media and acting as spokesperson? 8. Have you got a communications plan i.e. do you know what you want to say, to whom, when and how? So, have you:
    • www.prcoach.co.uk Copyright © 2013 – Debbie Leven Page 2 of 3 a) clarified what you can say (remember to stick to the facts) – for some audiences you may need to advise them to take specific action? b) identified the key people you need to communicate with (and prioritised them)? c) decided when the best time is to communicate with them (much better for them to hear about this from you than elsewhere)? d) established a timeline for managing communications – do you need to tackle specific aspects in an order? e) identified the best way to communicate with your audiences (mechanisms might well differ between audiences and will also depend on the seriousness of the incident)? f) drafted a holding statement for use should you receive calls from the press and media? 9. Have you put an approval process in place for communications materials (statements, letters, emails etc)? 10.Is your company backgrounder up-to-date? Have you checked all facts and figures relevant to the business that you might need in briefing materials? 11.If other organisations/businesses are involved in the incident then do you have clarity about who their key contact people are, where responsibilities lie and lines of communication with them, process for agreeing actions? 12.If relevant, have the appropriate authorities been informed about the incident? 13.If an incident meeting is required involving a number of people then have those people been identified, and notified, and a meeting scheduled? 14.Have you identified an alternative base should your premises be out of action? Have you checked that this base gives you the facilities you need? 15.Are you monitoring any press and media for mentions of the incident and to check balance of reporting? 16.Do you have social media monitoring in place so you can track what is being discussed? Are you able to react quickly to misinformation and rumour? 17.Do you have a policy regarding staff speaking to the media? 18.Have staff been reminded about that policy and do they know how to field calls and to whom? 19.If the media is already aware then do they know who the contact person is in your business regarding information and queries and do they have contact details for them for out of hours? Are they getting information direct from you or are they being updated from elsewhere?
    • www.prcoach.co.uk Copyright © 2013 – Debbie Leven Page 3 of 3 20.Do you have easy access to the contact details for those people you will need to communicate with (customers, suppliers, potential customers, past customers, local networks, press and media)? 21.Have you identified any aspects of your business you need to change immediately because of the incident? 22.Have you identified actions which may be necessary to prevent this incident happening again, or to minimise its impact should it happen again? 23.Have you ensured that customers, potential customers or partners/stakeholders are aware of any impact/change in your ability to service their needs as a result of this incident? 24.Have you identified other actions which may be necessary to protect your business immediately/in the future, such as: changing the security at your premises; sourcing other suppliers; changing processes, systems, technology; updating policies or protocols? 25.Do you need to stop or change any aspect of your ongoing marketing activity: information on your website; suspending any advertising or other marketing efforts? After the PR crisis It’s useful to have a thorough de-brief after the incident, including: 1. Assessing how you handled what happened and identification of areas where you need to make changes to the business as a result. 2. Reviewing policies and procedures and making appropriate changes. 3. Reviewing how you handled your crisis communications and what you might do differently in the future. Have a look at http://www.prcoach.co.uk for more checklists and ideas to help you with your PR.