Where is the Government’s PR Crisis Policy for Covid 19?

By James Knight. 

In business, no matter how big or small your company is, you probably have a PR Crisis Policy in case something really bad happens, like a flood or your IT goes down.

Why does it seem like the Governmenet has never had one? It seems it is, as they say, on the hoof.

When I was guest speaker at Bournemouth University PR and Media School, I use to present one off at group workshops on PR crisis policies for students.

I featured a hotel in Benidorm where Legonnaires Disease broke out, how did the hotel PR Strategy handle it, with updates as situations developed, working in groups they would put together and present to one another, Legonnaires developed over a period of time caused deaths with guests who at the hotel stayed from over Europe, the hotel developed a PR policy to handle problems across Europe.

Correct messages were devised for Press and Media, one person only put statements out. You need consistency in messages not muddled PR messages.

I feel the Government staff had lack of training in communications PR.

PR messages to the public has not been apparent in many instances in the Covid situation. It was decided in March when the PR machine at No 10 decided to ban ministers appearing good Morning Britain with Piers Morgan and Suzanne Reid because the Ministers did not like aggressive interviews, yet millions of viewers should have been able to see them being interviewed, now certain people have left No 10 they can now appear.

Good PR policy should have been in place, as any sort of negative publicity effects your business or Government policies.

Also a PR policy should be in place to handle social media.

We have also seen bad PR in the crisis of a leading brand going under this week, where 13,000 people made redundant, where is there PR Crisis Policy, the people in retail need PR crisis policy, after there problems with the pension fund fiasco, they never learned as a brand.

Professor James Knight is an international businessman, public relations practitioners and academic. He was Fellow of Bournemouth University Public Relations School, guest speaker at Judge Cambridge, Surrey, Bath and Reading, International Mentor for Oxford Brookes on Hospitality. He is a Fellow of CIPR and the Society of Public Relations of America, as well as a fellow of the Institute of Directors. He sat for two years on one of Britain leading Cardiology Committees at Barts and is an Ambassador for Barts.

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