Step One: Anticipation
It is not feasible to believe that people alone
can scour the internet and find all the harmful information to a client.
There are numerous systems that can monitor the internet based on keyword
analysis. To be able to properly identify key words that would damage
your client, all public relation professionals must be aware of the hot
button issues surrounding their client. Also, through all steps of this
process, educated professionals should be establishing relationship building
with members of high-level media sites, in case a crisis should occur.
Step Two: Prevention
According to PlanetFeedback.com, the best way to
prevent an internet crisis is to “develop and nurture strong relationships
with consumers” as well as the media. It is also important to develop
a platform for which you can broadcast your own message. When somebody
prints something unflattering to your client, it is important to have
a medium in which to respond to the attacks. Rumors must be quickly defused
because they are rapidly spread. This medium should also build credibility
with its audience with objective and unbiased material.
Step Three: Management
When a crisis occurs, the company must already have
a plan to combat the problem. People should already be implemented in
a crisis prevention control team. The spokesperson should be chosen, and
all aspects of the team should be briefed on the specific ways on which
the crisis will be handled. As long as everyone is on the same page, the
problem will be addressed quickly and effectively.
Now that the problem of rumor controlling
has been addressed, public relations officials must realize that sometimes
negative publicity is not negative at all. Razak A. Baker, a senior consultant
at the Alpha Platform Public Relations Firm, believes that in the entertainment
industry, sometimes any publicity is good publicity. Baker says that “in
the world of entertainment, negative [publicity] sometimes brings in more
album sales and bizarrely bad relationships attract more audiences to
see the actors’ movie.”
Bakar says he recalls one instance when Donny Osmond was asked by fellow
artists and record executives to get arrested for drugs. This strategy
was to make his image more rebellious in order to boost declining record
sales. That aspect of entertainment public relations makes it an extremely
unique specimen in its field.