PR Crisis Management Training Canada | Tactics to Master NOW

by | Nov 14, 2023

PR crisis management training is more important than ever. In today’s round the clock digital world an unfortunate workplace incident or inappropriate social media post can spark a PR nightmare. Not knowing what to do to safely manage and mitigate the issue can set you back years in terms of performance, sales, and a damaged brand image.


Properly navigating a media crisis is an artform. It’s not only about getting through tough times; it’s about reaffirming your brand image, reputation and propelling growth. Studies show that you are more likely to convert a sale if your branding is on point and resonates with potential customers and clients. That’s the power of branding and media management.


How Important is PR Crisis Management Training?


Imagine you’re meeting with a colleague and you learn about a recent PR crisis that is damaging the reputation of a renowned brand. The negative impact on that brand’s reputation is evident. PR crises can tarnish a company’s image, reduce trust among stakeholders, and even impact the bottom line. 


Given the interconnected world we live in, news travels fast, and what might seem like a minor issue can quickly escalate into a full-blown crisis. Hence, being prepared and knowing how to manage these situations is vital. Overcoming the crisis is one thing, but learning teachable moments to propel your brand to new heights is key to surviving a crisis and building a stronger brand in the future.


PR Crisis Management Training Tactics


Crisis management is an artform that goes far beyond a simple press release. You need to learn how to interact with the media and other stakeholders. Here are some tactics to help get the job done right.


How to Properly Communicate with the Media


Congratulations! You’ve landed a media interview for your company. So, what are the key messages you want to ensure that your audience hears and understands? What if the media asks you a question you can’t answer because of privacy concerns? 


Learning techniques to ace an interview and how to spot media interview tactics is key to representing your company well in the media spotlight. We understand the media because we come from the media. Solv Communications knows what questions the media will ask you, how to prepare for any type of interview and how to shape the narrative around your story.


How to Spot Pointed / Negative Questions


Whether it’s an interview or a phone call, the media will be asking pointed questions. There are several interview techniques they can use and knowing how to spot those tactics the and bridge to your key message is crucial. Media and crisis communication training will give you the grace and confidence to represent your company like a pro.


You Shouldn’t Use Loaded Words That Can Be Misinterpreted


Choose your words wisely. Words carry weight, and in a crisis, they can either be your best ally or worst enemy. Avoid jargon or terms that might not be understood or taken out of context. Instead, opt for clear and straightforward language that conveys your message without ambiguity. What you do NOT want are statements that are open for interpretation. You lose control of the story and the crisis deepens.


Analyze the Crisis, and Develop Your Corporate Messaging


Every crisis is unique, and so should be your messaging. Take a step back, assess the situation, and tailor your corporate messaging to address the issue at hand. It’s not just about damage control; it’s about reaffirming your company’s values and commitment to its stakeholders. A crisis can be a second chance to reassure all your stakeholders that you are taking the matter seriously and working towards a timely solution.


Properly Connect Back to Key Messaging 


During a PR crisis, it’s easy to get sidetracked. You must develop the skill to be able to circle back to your core messaging with grace and confidence. Tone of voice and body language are just as important as what you say in an interview. Learning this technique not only reinforces your brand’s values but also provides a sense of consistency and reliability.


Choose the Right person within your company to deal with media


Some people are natural communicators while others aren’t. This is not to say that speaking with media is a skill that can’t be taught, because it can! But when it comes to public relations, you should choose the right person from your organization to discuss matters with the media.


Consider the nature of the crisis at hand. If it’s a product issue, it might be wise to let the VP of engineering address the media. If it’s a serious accident involving a fatality, the public and your stakeholders will want to hear from the CEO of the company.

Social Media Etiquette


At this point, you’re probably asking yourself, “How much can a single Tweet or a Facebook post impact my organization?” The answer is a lot! We live in a digital age where a single post can go viral in minutes. Hence, it’s crucial to teach employees proper social media etiquette.


Think about it: How often have we seen an offhand comment or an ill-advised Tweet lead to a PR nightmare? By training your staff on how to post respectfully and understanding the implications of their online actions, you’re not only safeguarding your brand’s reputation but also promoting responsible digital citizenship.


Fix Your Employment Contract


Ensuring a social media policy is a formal part of your employment contract is smart business. It’s one thing to guide your employees, but having it in black and white, as part of the onboarding process, gives it the weight it deserves. 


It sets clear boundaries, ensures accountability, and most importantly, underscores the importance your organization places on responsible online behavior. After all, in today’s digital landscape, your employees are also your brand ambassadors, and their online actions reflect directly on your organization.


When Do You Need PR Crisis Management?


Let’s face it; no one wants to face a PR crisis. But the question isn’t if it will happen, but when. Be it an unforeseen event, a misjudged marketing campaign, or an unfortunate social media post, crises can arise from the most unexpected quarters. Recognizing the signs early on, whether it’s a surge in negative chatter on social media or a sudden spike in customer complaints, is crucial. It allows you to take proactive measures, mitigate damage, and steer the narrative in a direction that aligns with your brand values.


Why Hire a Professional PR Crisis Management Firm?


The do-it-yourself approach hardly ever works in the business world. It takes time, resources, and more than likely, you’ll need to hire someone to clean up the mess. This is why many organizations choose to hire professional PR crisis management firms. PR pros, who have seen it all, can help you navigate any crisis with confidence while keeping your brand and reputation intact. 


Why Hire Solv Communications for Crisis Management?


So, you’ve made the decision to hire a PR crisis management firm. Now comes the hard part; which firm do you choose? Solv Communications has a unique advantage over other PR firms. We are former network radio and television news reporters and anchors. Our media savvy experience plus deep expertise in crisis communications ensures you navigate any issue or crisis safely and swiftly. It’s like having a media insider on your team. Let the Solv Team teach you all the media tips and tactics you’ll need before your next media interview or crisis. We’re here to help you become media savvy and crisis resilient. 


Nicole Harris

Nicole Harris is the Founder and CEO of Solv Communications, a leading Reputation Management and PR agency in the Prairies. As a former network television news anchor and reporter, Nicole has gained deep insight into the power of earning trust through strategic communication. Over her 15-year career in the media she has covered some of the most high- profile risk management stories including cyber breaches at Fortune 500 companies, product recalls, workplace violence and everything in between. Nicole and her team’s extensive industry knowledge and strategic guidance will help you focus on what is in your control to mitigate risk and minimize damage to your reputation. It’s all about prioritizing strategic planning to spot an issue, effectively manage it, and develop action plans to safely steer you through any situation before it damages your reputation. Nicole has developed and delivered bespoke reputation management, strategic, and media training for senior executives, board members, politicians, and celebrities.