Public relations strategies for crisis management

CRISIS management as it affects public relations is very relevant in Nigeria today. Crisis is an unexpected and unanticipated event a situation that threatens the integrity or reputation of an organisation or country. It is a permanent feature of any society. Ability to resolve crisis is the hallmark of democracy. Generally, every crisis is a turning point.

Nigeria is in a total state of crisis in all facets of its life. The overall political economic discussion among Nigerians today is centred on how to put things in order and emerge from our economic woes.

The EndSARS protest by youths in the country would have been averted if government at all levels were responsive to the yearnings and aspirations of the citizenry. The crisis is a wakeup call to bad leadership in Nigeria. The Lekki toll gate crisis would have been prevented if effective communication and dialogue had been put in place, because dialogue is an effective tool in resolving crisis.

Public relations strategy for crisis management is much more than just cultivating contacts. It is about devising and implementing strategic campaigns, reacting to crisis and ensuring that an organisation is always correctly and positively represented. Therefore, it is not concerned with how an organisation sees itself but how others see it.

Public relation is 90 per cent action and 10 percent oral. In a crisis situation, you need to sit down and think about your decision and respond quickly in order that the situation would not be escalated. Information dissemination and management both in traditional and social media should be quick, timely, efficient and continuous. Rumours and propaganda should be put into control or checked. The crucial thing during the crisis is to tell it all, tell it fast and tell the truth. The public relations executive should be the spokesman during the crisis. There should be crisis management team to identify what actions should be taken.

For effective management of crisis, it is important to look beyond in-house public relations department in resolving crisis, especially when it has to do with its external publics. Therefore, public relation is an effective tool for management and prevention of crisis.

  • Evang. Akin Enikuomehin,


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