From various customer service surveys, it has been revealed that if a customer problem is resolved promptly and quickly, the customer becomes more loyal to you than even before the crisis happened. There fore in P. R. when the crisis is resolved quickly and these media is quickly alerted the brand image will be strengthened. (Pinsdorf, Marion, 144) “When the threat got really serious in the Old Star Trek series… Captain Kirk invariably upgraded the ships status from Yellow alert to Red alert”. (Eric Yaverbaum, Et al, p 290-296)
This should be the same way to handle the P. R. crisis; put it on ‘red alert’, which means that the situation should be made a management priority, be proactive and quick response should be the norm in handling the crisis. (Eric Yaverbaum, Et al, p 296) During such a crisis all management staff should be on “Red alert” and always be “on call” and be available all the time until the crisis is disseminated. The manager should have the contacts of all key persons who he shouldn’t hesitate to call when need arises at whatever time. iv). Post crisis
A postmortem should be done after the crisis fizzles out and a “post-crisis summary report” prepared. This report should indicate the cause and level of the crisis, the role of media during the crisis, threats and opportunities identified for improvement. What needs to be improved and lessons learned. (Pinsdorf, Marion, 146) Finally though not an easy to do depending on the impact of the crisis the company should strive to rebuild the goodwill from all the key customers and audience and of particular importance involve and continue strengthening the relationship with the media. Conclusion
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When any crisis however big hits any particular organizations, the ability to stand and remain strong is totally dependent on how much the organization has anticipated and prepared for that crisis. Crisis in any organization if properly managed can be a source of victory and joy. Most organizations however, as much as they prepare for such eventualities leave out a major factor that would turn out to be an ally when things go wrong, the media. The media play a very significant role in such crisis and woe unto the organization if its media relationship is characterized by suspicion and secrecy.
The company would find it very hard to come out of the crisis when the media is on the other side; it is the responsibility of every Public Relation manager to cultivate a very strong bond with the media a bond that will have the decisive factor when hit.
Eric Yaverbaum, Robert W. Bly, Ilise Benun, Richard Kirshenba: Public Relations For Dummies, 2nd Edition (May 2006) Bernstein, Alan. Emergency Public Relations Manual. 3rd ed. PASE 1988. Pinsdorf, Marion. Communicating When Your Company Is Under Siege: Surviving Public Crisis. Free Press 1986