At a time when media compete so intensely and where a (too) sharp angle on a story can be what ensures more clicks than the competition, the companies’ communication must function as a shield against potential mud slinging. Press coverage can be a double-edged sword if it’s not handled carefully, because the bad press lasts much longer than the good. But attacks can be avoided and even turned into an advantage for a company that’s well prepared for crisis and that knows how to behave in adverse situations. Solid documentation together with proper behaviour are key to all crisis communication. To avoid the consequences of a crisis, press releases are combined with search terms, AdWords campaigns and landing pages.
The handling of any crisis demands a competent appearance in the media. Media training to raise awareness of the rules of the game and to learn to speak to the press with confidence is not as easy as it sounds. The training will uncover who in the company handles these situations best, so that the company is ready to draw on the best resources when crisis knocks. In a web-based reality, businesses in crisis must be prepared for bad and perhaps undeserved media coverage. The question is how you choose to tackle it and if you should even enter into a dialogue. Some companies dream that the negative coverage can be made to just go away by means of search engine optimisation (SEO) and reputation management. This, however, is a very risky strategy because it can be interpreted as an attempt to hide the truth and as such lead to another crisis.