The role of PR in crisis management: essential strategies

The role of PR in crisis management: essential strategies


The role of PR in crisis management: essential strategies

Crisis management isn't just an essential aspect of PR services - it's the lifeline that can make or break a brand's reputation when the worst happens. In today's fast-paced media landscape, knowing how to navigate through a crisis is more crucial than ever.  

This article dives into the world of PR in crisis mode, unraveling the strategies that turn chaos into opportunity and spotlighting the savvy moves that keep brands afloat during turbulent times.  

The Importance of Crisis Management

Effective crisis management helps protect your brand’s reputation and minimise damage during a crisis.  It’s the strategy that every brand needs but hopes to never use.  

Key Strategies for Crisis Management

Preparedness: A robust internal and external communications plan should be prepared for hypothetical and imminent threats to your business’ reputation.

Communication: If a crisis occurs, it’s important that stakeholders know how to communicate and deliver the brands position in a professional, compassionate, authentic and controlled manner.

Responsiveness: Respond quickly to address the crisis and mitigate its impact. By acting promptly with the right messaging, you’re in good stead to minimise damage, maintain trust and protect your reputation.

Consistency: Ensure consistent messaging across all communication channels to reinforce your brands positioning.

Monitoring: Continuously monitor the situation and adjust strategies as needed. By tracking the crisis, you can gauge public sentiment, make informed decisions, address emerging issues promptly, ensure effective communication, manage stakeholder expectations, and gather data for future improvements.

Case Study: Successful Crisis Management

Here’s an example of a company’s successfully managed crisis to provide valuable insight into effective crisis management strategy.

KFC FCK Bucket

KFC is one of the nation’s favourite fast-food brands, so when they were faced with #ChickenCrisis in 2018, customers were left with bad taste.

What happened?

In a nutshell, or bargain bucket, KFC restaurants across the UK were missing chicken after a breakdown in their supply chain. Three quarters of the stores were closed, and the inconvenience made national headlines.

How did they respond?

The brand sprang into action, releasing ads in newspapers with a bucket with the letters rearranged from KFC, to FCK, owning up to the crisis. They also created a dedicated page on their website for customers to check the availability of chicken in their nearby stores as well as answering questions via Twitter/X.

How was it received?

KFC's response to the PR crisis perfectly embodied their brand values. They handled the situation with transparency, speed, and authenticity, which helped defuse public uproar and showed their humility with a comedic twist, turning a potential disaster into a moment of brand strength.


PR plays a crucial role in crisis management by ensuring effective communication and responsiveness. the key to successful crisis management lies in being prepared, staying true to your brand, and communicating effectively. With these strategies in place, businesses can not only mitigate the damage from crises but also reinforce their brand’s resilience and trustworthiness.

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