I search for wedding industry news every week online. Wedding disasters always makes a regular appearance. They attract media attention like moths to a flame. Popular articles usually detail how venues close unexpectedly leaving booked weddings up in the air. This is where PR crisis containment becomes a crucial part of the protective shield. The following headline is an example of containment in action.
In a nutshell, the bride could not get hold of her dressmaker on the big day forcing the bride to source an emergency dress just in time. The original dressmaker then turned up two hours after the ceremony with the dress, an apology and a refund.
The dressmaker remains anonymous throughout the article and neither their brand or name appears once. Whilst this may be due to legal restrictions, it is most likely to be an example of PR crisis containment.
What is PR crisis containment?
In this modern digital age, PR crisis containment is a relatively new concept. Following a newsworthy scenario or disaster, dedicated PR specialists are appointed to manage the crisis and minimise the damage caused by overzealous or incorrect media coverage.
This is done in multiple ways by the appointed PR team:
- Speed is of the essence therefore an official statement is promptly created preventing the press from gathering unqualified information
- The team handles all incoming press enquires via a dedicated media desk to ensure approved responses are only given
- Internal communications and social media management are temporarily managed by the team to prevent leakages
Paying a PR agency to manage and contain a crisis could cost you thousands per week. Naturally, this is an exorbitant fee for most wedding businesses; however, did you know that some insurance policies now cover this? In recent times digital communication channels have transformed the way businesses operate, more and more insurers are including crisis containment as part of their policies, but not all. Don’t get caught out! Check your current policy. If crisis containment is not included, ask your insurer if it can be added-on, assuming they provide this type of cover. If this is not possible, consider changing your insurer at renewal.
Introducing the press release
We are unsure if the original dressmaker in the article above had PR crisis containment; however, their name is absent from the article. This is essentially the golden egg. Depending on the crisis, it’s not always possible to completely remove your brand name as shown in this disastrous headline.
The best chance you can give your business during a crisis is to take speedy action and that starts with the immediate creation of a press release or statement.
Many businesses do not have the appropriate experience to write a press release. This puts a lot of pressure on time, which is in very short supply during a crisis. The best thing to do is prepare a press release in advance. You can find a solid press release structure in our business continuity plan template, which is available to download FOR FREE. It is also important to speak with your broker and insurer to enable them to provide additional support and guidance.
So what’s the conclusion? Unwanted, inaccurate or misleading media coverage is never welcome, especially if your business is situated in a close-knit location and relies on referrals to generate new business. You have worked hard to create your business, brand and reputation so keep it that way by ensuring your business is protected against adverse media attention.
Adam is the brand evangelist for the Wedding Insurance Group. He continuously researches how the wedding industry is changing by liaising with our clients. Connect with Adam via our social media channels where he publishes informative videos on a regular basis.