Building Relationships with Stakeholders Before a Crisis Hits

My mom always says that no news is good news, but when it comes to public relations that isn’t the case. No news means that someone else is controlling the perception of your brand. No news means that in about 2.1 seconds your brand could be tarnished by the smallest rumor. The point of public relations is to build relationships with stakeholders and show people the positive things that your brand is doing. Why any organization would miss the opportunity to achieve that objective is beyond me!

These days organizations can’t afford to miss out on chances to tell their stories. When horrible situations arise, your stakeholders need to have trust in you. If you weren’t engaging them previously, who will they believe when something serious happens? It’s between your organization and the media. Trust me, the media will win every single time. Without having a public relations plan that disseminates information and engages stakeholders on a consistent basis, your organization can kiss its good reputation goodbye.

My top tips for implementing public relations strategies when you have a public relations specialist in place are simple and easy.

  • Talk to stakeholders. The best way to see how your audiences feel about you is to communicate with them. Ask them about their perceptions, needs and wants. Y’all know I hate it when communications professionals assume instead of collecting the data. Go get the info and plan from there.
  • Set a plan in motion. After you’ve done some research, implement your findings in a new plan that will consist of consistent and engaging content for your audiences.
  • Two-way is the new way. Maybe it’s not new, but this one-sided conversation business has gotten out of hand. Allow your audiences to engage in a two-way conversation with you so that they feel like their voice is heard!
  • Remain consistent. Problems will arise. If you’ve maintained healthy relationships with your audiences, you have a better chance of controlling the narrative and keeping your internal and external audiences on your side of the story.

Public relations is underrated by most organizations these days, but with proper planning and consistency, any organization can prevent distrust and disloyalty from occurring both internally and externally.

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