PR professionals advised to always be prepared for a crisis

by Business Times
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By Ritah Namara

In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, understanding how to navigate digital public relations is of utmost importance as every hashtag and online event can potentially trend or trigger a crisis.

Held on April 11, 2024, the PR Fundi Masterclass discussed managing digital PR with a case study on #SocialMediaExhibitions.

The event brought together industry professionals to dissect and understand best practices in digital PR management.

Ministry of Health Spokesperson Emmanuel Ainebyoona emphasised the importance of having dedicated teams for social media monitoring, using health exhibitions as an example.

The Ministry of Health interns learn social media monitoring and propose solutions as part of their internship, according to Ainebyoona.

He noted that the health exhibitions showcased how proactive monitoring could be leveraged to steer conversations and enhance engagement effectively.

According to Ainebyoona, exhibitions bring a lot to light where mainstream media has failed on their mandate.

The master class dedicated a significant portion of the discussion to crisis management, a particularly vital aspect given the viral nature of digital content.

On her part, Standard Chartered Bank Corporate Affairs Manager Cynthia Mpanga advised PR professionals to always be prepared for a crisis.

 “Best practice for when you have a crisis is what you do before. How prepared were you before the crisis,” she noted.

She stressed five steps that should be followed in case of crisis which included immediate communication, negotiation, internal review, crisis minimization, and effective delegation.

“PRO should stop being good story tellers but rather, get into having numbers, statics, and analytics when explaining to stakeholders,” said Mpanga.

Samuel Apedel the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) Director Public Relations and Corporate Communications spoke passionately about planning for the unexpected noting that the unpredictability of digital events means that brands must be prepared for any scenario. 

He advised having detailed digital communication and crisis management plans that are versatile and adaptable to different situations. 

“Anticipating potential problems and planning responses ahead of time can significantly diminish the impact of unforeseen issues. He stressed a crisis is not an invitation for you to panic,” says Apedel

The PR Fundi Master classes are organized by Node Group Ltd, a Public Relations and communications agency. PR Fundi Master Classes offer a comprehensive program covering over 100 PR practice topics, meticulously designed to equip participants with mastery over PR tasks. As the landscape of PR constantly evolves, our monthly public master classes serve as a vital resource for staying updated and sharpening your skills. Additionally, we offer customized sessions tailored to meet the specific needs of organizations

Some of the topics include; Introduction to PR, PR strategy, PR planning, Government relations, Community relations, Stakeholder engagement, Strategic Internal communication & employee engagement, Media relations, Crisis communications, Customer relations, Marketing communications, Campaign design, Change communications, Writing skills for PR , Social media strategy and management, Practical public affairs, The art of Google Analytics, Copywriting, Managing PR performance & efficiency PR research etc. Led by industry experts, each session encourages critical thinking and incorporates real-life case studies to enhance your understanding and application of PR theory.

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