Using Holding Statements in Crisis Communications

public relations
public relations


Seasoned public relations professional Patrick O’Reilly serves as the president of OPR Communications, a public relations firm in Riverside, California. Patrick O’Reilly and other members of his Riverside-based company offer a wide variety of PR services, including crisis communications. When a crisis occurs, a rapid, thoughtful response is often necessary, and an experienced PR professional can help an organization get through what might initially seem like a disaster.

At the outset of a crisis, an organization must assess what has happened and consider how to proceed. But in the process of making this assessment, the public and stakeholders in the organization may clamor for information. In the immediate aftermath of a crisis, it is helpful to have a “holding statement” prepared until the company can decide on a longer-term response.

Such statements should focus on what has been and will be done. For example, if a company has begun to investigate what occurred, its holding statement could emphasize that it is still determining what happened and will take action based on the results of its investigation.

While organizations can undertake some crisis management on their own, professional assistance like that offered by OPR Communications can be very helpful in many situations.


OPR Communications Wins a 2015 PRSA Polaris Award


A highly-skilled public relations professional with a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from the University of Southern California, Patrick O’Reilly serves at the president of Riverside, California-based OPR Communications, which values accountability, respect, and results. In 2015, Patrick O’Reilly’s Riverside company won the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA’s) Polaris Award for the BVES Holiday Light Exchange campaign.

PRSA hosts a variety of awards events that recognize outstanding public relations professionals and their work in numerous categories. At the national level, these include the Silver Anvil Awards, which are very prestigious and are known as “the Oscars of the public relations profession.” The Silver Anvil Awards are announced each spring at a show in Manhattan, New York. PRSA also gives out the Bronze Anvil Awards for individual campaign components as well as a variety of individual awards and the section awards, which are made to practitioners on the basis of industry expertise.