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Crisis Management and Public Relations in the New Normal

More and more companies are, without thinking, facing a crisis situation when they never imagined that they had to go through it. Tourist, entertainment, medical, cultural companies … No one is spared from going through a moment when they don’t know how to handle the situation.

Nowadays, communication has turned every person with a smartphone in hand into a “communicator”. The things that happen are shared on social networks and users become the main judges of the acts carried out by a company, organization or person wearing a uniform.

If we already know that we are exposed to that, the question is: why don’t companies train their staff on how to act in crisis situations? Many times, in an accident or delicate situation, the same employees are the ones who end up sinking the reputation of a company simply by innocently sharing an image or video on their social networks. Many times companies react with a statement where they report that said person or employee has already been fired. The reality is that, even in cases where the employee has a behavior that is not so innocent, the responsibility lies with the employer and not the employee.

Companies that do not have a Public Relations and Communication department (or an external agency) tend to desperately seek help without first knowing if the agency or consultancy they managed to contact is the ideal one to rescue their company from the crisis they are going through.

Even if you consider that your company does not require a consultancy, agency or “in house” of Public Relations and Communication; it is your responsibility to know. I suggest that you do not wait for the crisis to arrive to start looking, as it happens in a hurricane, have a list of PR agencies or people who have experience in the field in which your company is dedicated. Above all, have the companies with which you consider that you could have better labor synergy located. My suggestion is: It is not just to meet them, it is to meet with them and leave all the possibility open.

During the pandemic, a traditional work that Public Relations had been developing decreased, somehow crisis actions increased. This led several companies to start looking for a transformation, especially in the way of communicating, selling and publicizing their products and services.

An example is Burger King releasing a statement that asked to buy McDonald’s and invited solidarity in these times. It is important to note that this statement was not only a completely different angle from what they did before the pandemic (like disguising their establishment as a ghost by saying it was McDonald’s on Halloween); His strategy of solidarity made everyone forget that Burger King was one of the first franchises to lay off people when the pandemic began. I do not applaud this type of business behavior, but I applaud that your Public Relations team managed to make everyone forget how at the beginning of the pandemic Mexico already wanted to boycott the franchise for its behavior.

The crisis is not only something that endangers a situation, today the crisis is also not knowing what fate has in store for us in this new normal. We must be learning to handle new markets, we must meet with experts in the area of ​​Public Relations to define the direction that our communication will take in the future. The most important thing is not to stop and keep moving forward, because surely behind you, other companies are coming, stepping on the accelerator to catch up with you. Do not stop reading me on my social networks @ginaalfeiran