One of the most essential qualities to have as a public relations professional is definitely the skill of crisis management. This involves many aspects, but one of the leading qualities would have to be reaction time and reaction itself. When something you’ve been working diligently on falls apart, what will you do? When something slanderous is posted about your company or firm, how will you get rid of the scar? How will you tell your employees, or those who work under you? All of these are questions that you must ask yourself when evaluating your own crisis management skills and deciding what your role will be in the public relations field.
How do you react to a crisis? What steps do you take to recover? First, you need to talk about it and be completely open, factual, and truthful (fact/truth does not always mean the same thing). The truth is that if you don’t tell all the facts about your crisis, someone else will, and it will leave you to answer about your own lies. Of course, with telling about the crisis, you also need to be open about what you’re doing to fix it. No one wants to hear that something is broken if the creator has no inclination to mend it, the same applies to crises in the work place. Finally, when the crisis is over, you of course need to notify all involved and all who are interested before you can get back to your work at hand.
Just as there are stages in life, marriage, and parenthood, there are also stages of crisis management. The four stages of a crisis are heroic, disillusionment, honeymoon, and reconstruction. You first need to come up with a swift solution to the problem, you then might have some confusion about what exactly is happening, after that you can get into a rut where you become comfortable with the problem, and then you will finally rebuild and mend whatever “broke” in the daily process of your company or organization.