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“The role of public relations...is to help stabilize the environment by developing messages and public relations strategy which results in prompt, honest, informative and concerned communication with all important audiences - internal and external.” Jonathan Bernstein, Bernstein Communications

 

Man in the middle of a crisis

This web site will help you deal with an organizational crisis as well as how to prevent one. An analysis of two case studies will help you see how two influential companies reacted when faced with a crisis. While some took responsibility right away and restored safety and confidence back to the consumer, like Johnson and Johnson did with the Tylenol scare in 1982, others such as Exxon in 1989, didn’t automatically take responsibility for the oil spill in Alaska and further hurt the population.

As much as we would like to live in a perfect world where unexpected events aren't realities, we must accept that they are and deal with the crisis when it arrives. Although there are many different techniques and skills that public relations professionals use to develop campaigns to promote a message or a product, one of its main functions is also to deal with a crisis by fixing the problem and putting a positive spin on it. Public relations, then, "examines the communications relationships that exist among and between institutions and their key target audience groups" (Lindenmann, Institute for Public Relations). It is the public image and spokesperson for the company in time of success as well as failure.

As Jonathan Bernstein said in an article written for Bernstein Communications, “the role of public relations, therefore, is to help stabilize that environment by developing messages and public relations strategy which results in prompt, honest, informative and concerned communication with all important audiences - internal and external.” This is why so many public relations professionals are trained in the area of crisis management.

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