You Can't Fight in Here. This is the War Room.

Writing for and drawing from her experiences with both Google and Twitter, Karen Wickre offers some insights as to how to respond to a PR crisis, and how to keep your PR team focused on that same response. Beginning with identifying the type of problem at hand, whether self-inflicted, or due to unanticipated data error, public misinformation, or outside forces, she also offers a shared process for developing a response.

Consisting of six stages, this process includes:

  • Performing internal fact finding -- find out where the problem first started.
  • Gather the team -- identify those within the company who have the expertise in the issue that's being faced.
  • Make a public statement -- even if you don't know the solution, acknowledge that you're aware of the problem.
  • Keep employees informed -- make sure those within the company are aware of what's happening, and don't let them get surprised by announcements from outside the company.
  • Be aware of media members -- work to establish relationships with members of the press who may be covering the story, and respond to them in a timely manner.
  • Not everything has to be in house -- recognize when you may need outside expertise or additional assistance, whether legal or professional.