The emotional nature of animal welfare work means that at some point you will experience a crisis. It could be a natural disaster where animals are misplaced from owners and homes, or a protest staged by a group of animal activists.
You can anticipate some crises, but some come with no warning, such as a news story that contains false information, or worse, correct information that reflects poorly on your agency. In times of distress, following these rules and having a PR agency that specializes in animal welfare public relations can help protect your organization against the crisis escalating.
- Act quickly.Fast action in the face of a crisis is critical.
- Get your facts together. And make sure they are right.
- Develop your response plan and messages. Messages should be proactive and focused on solutions. In other words, don’t get defensive.
- Show that you are in chargeby staying calm, attentive and showing confidence.
- Recognize that reporters have a job to do. Ignoring or working against them will backfire. Craft your messages to work for reporters – and for your organization.
- Never, ever lie. Giving any type of false or inaccurate information will come back to haunt you and your organization. Lies of omission also can be dangerous, so it is important to give reporters the accurate story.
The public’s awareness of the issue — through media coverage or other means — can permanently damage your brand. Having an established crisis plan will help you regain some of the support your organization might have lost when the crisis hit. At Orange Orchard, we understand your animal welfare foundation and want you to be able to get back to the job of saving our animal friends. Call us at (865) 977-1973 or contact us online so that we can help you prepare for any worst-case scenario.