How to use PressPage to do crisis communications
All the crisis features you need in the same place
Crisis communication has been on our mind a lot recently – we’ve even published a guide for PR teams and a few more resources like holding statement templates – but in this post, we really want to dig into the practical details and approach it from our own platform. So if you use PressPage, what exactly can you do with it? What features can you count on when you’re preparing for crisis scenarios?
Save time and draft statements beforehand
Having a draft holding statement virtually ready to publish can save you time when you most need it. All you should have is a template, leave some blanks for the specifics (what happened and when, some details about what you know so far, who is involved, and when you expect to communicate the following update), and you’re set to go. Additionally, you can manage the user permissions of sensitive content so only specific members of your team have access to it before it gets published.
The entire process can be done in a matter of minutes: head to the manager and create a draft custom case, copy your holding statement and add all the modules you need: contact details, live feeds, social media plug-ins, or any other information you can publish about what’s happening and what your company is doing about it. Some of that might already be in other pages of your newsroom, but centralizing it can avoid unnecessary confusion and make covering your news easier.
Turn on emergency redirects and send your visitors to a crisis 'hub’
Once you have your custom case as the page to go to when a crisis calls for it, PressPage also enables you to redirect all newsroom traffic to that specific release. The emergency newsroom can come in especially handy at the early stages of your crisis response, but consider the following before pressing publish or switching on the redirects:
- Timing: How long has it been since the news broke out? Is it enough time that people would start going into your website anyway or would it be causing unnecessary panic? Have journalists started to get in touch with you about it?
- Level of transparency: As a rule of thumb, transparent communication during a crisis is a must. However, your audiences also need to feel like they can trust you to manage the situation, and there is a fine line between being brutally honest and appearing unknowledgeable. Make sure you agree internally about the approach and messaging before turning on an emergency newsroom.
Please note this feature is only available upon request, talk to your Customer Success Manager to learn more.
Use Live News to keep your audiences updated at all times
Live news is our latest crisis communication feature. While creating it, we took into account a series of factors PR teams have to deal with during a crisis – particularly urgency, a need for almost immediate responses (even when the full story is not yet clear), and maintaining trustworthy relationships with multiple stakeholders.
Swift and clear communication can go a long way during a crisis. With live news, you can quickly publish updates as information arrives, include images, external or internal links, day and time stamps, and pin updates to the top to make sure they don’t get lost.
Focus on your crisis plan while our platform handles the traffic spikes
Throughout March and April 2020, we saw a dramatic increase in the traffic of our customer’s newsrooms – nearly thrice the number of visitors compared to previous months – due to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was particularly the case for companies in the aviation or healthcare industries.
When a crisis hits, it’s vital that your newsroom stays up so the media can have access to your statements – sudden traffic spikes can overwhelm and crash your site. PressPage newsrooms have auto-scaling capabilities to ensure uptime during sudden spike traffic incidents. Additionally, if configured correctly, it will launch instances in new geographical Availability Zones. In other words, if one physical server park is compromised, it will automatically switch to servers in a different geographical location.
Crisis communications tools you can activate in seconds
New to PressPage and curious to learn how our suite of PR tools can help you prepare for and respond to a crisis? Explore our crisis features or get in touch.