One manager will react differently from another when presented the same problem, such as public relations disasters. There might be differences, but when it comes to a public relations headache, a response is necessary, if involuntary.
During the 2013 Risk Summit, Shaun Adamec offered advice about handling crises. He said that the first thing is to identify what is fueling the crisis. Once that is done, Adamec suggested the following steps. He said that it might be necessary to employ more than one.
- Cauterization. Cut the source of the problem off directly.
- Dissuasion. Convince potential attackers that it is not in their interest to launch an attack.
- Diversion. Influencing the story angle of an attack in a way that diverts the risk and audience outrage to another subject.
- Reparations. Communicate remorse and make reparations for the wrongdoing.
- Inoculation. Provide key audiences with information and assurances that will counter inaccurate or sensationalized claims from an attacker.
- Compromise. Agree to some of the demands of the attackers.
- Pre-emption. Destroy the news or communications value of an attack in advance of its occurrence.
- Ridicule. Subject the attackers and their claims to public ridicule. This is best done through third parties.
- Double down. Position an alleged hazard or risk as trivial when compared to the benefits offered by the organization.