A lot of public relations firms will tell you how to manage a media crisis situation. That is the easy part.
But as a business owner, do you really know the best way to create a good, old-fashioned media crisis? It’s easy if you try.
The first thing to do is practice indifference to the public. This is key. When a crisis hits, you don’t want people to think you may not be at fault. No, you want that crisis. Keep a low profile in the community. Don’t seek support in the community. Don’t give any support to the community. Think of yourself as a turtle. That shell on your back will protect you against a semi-truck, right?
The second thing is to alienate your allies. Do you have a board of trustees? Advisors? A management team? Ignore every one of them and give them nothing to do to help your agency or business. They likely are just padding their resumes anyway so why trust them? If they somehow do want to give you a piece of advice, just ignore, ignore, ignore. And when that fails, ignore some more. Remember. You are a turtle, just duck your head.
The third step is very vital. Be hostile with the media. If they call for a comment, hang up. Don’t call back until days later. If they try and take a picture of you, push that camera out of the way and toss a few subtle curses at them. People love that. Makes you look evil. Now here is the tricky party. To do social media or not? If you just leave your social media up and do nothing, then that lets people attack your credibility. Kind of goes with the turtle theme. However, by making wildly crazy claims on social media, you can also help stir the hornet’s nest that is a crisis. It’s a tough call, but either way, you get a crisis.
The fourth step is relatively easy. Take the mindset of an ostrich and just stick your head in the sand and pretend no issues could ever arise. Don’t prepare for the worst. Don’t look for vulnerable areas in your organization. It’s not worth your time.
The fifth and final step. Blame someone else. Don’t accept responsibility. Don’t show empathy or concern. What did the guy from The Sopranos always say? Fuggedabout it! Do that.
And there you go, five easy ways to ruin your company’s reputation.