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.