The moment you are faced with a PR crisis, your first priority is to fix the issue at hand and protect your client’s brand at all costs. However, it’s time that PR professionals add another aspect of focus into their crisis management plan: Enter TAT.

Having TAT means that you, as a PR pro, will be able to provide more in-depth information to your client and the public regarding the crisis the brand is facing. For example, they’ll be made aware of how many people are working on the issue and what the goal is in regards to turnaround time.

This provides your client and their customers with reassurance, which enhances their trust in your agency and helps you maintain a good relationship with them.

media update’s Talisa Jansen van Rensburg takes a look at the importance of having a TAT-actioned crisis plan.

Are you ready? Let’s enter the danger zone:

What is TAT?

In a scenario where a brand crisis is on the horizon, TAT refers to the actions that a PR professional takes to turn things around. This can also refer to the space where you inform your client how long it will be to get the issue sorted and what the brand will be doing in order to take action.

TAT can also be the strategies that are being implemented into a brand’s PR strategy to gain more earned media. This includes the amount of time that will be focused on implementing a new way of doing things.

Why does TAT matter?

TAT is essential for PR pros to master. The longer your client’s brand is in crisis, the more it will negatively impact the business. And, in most cases, the length of time determines how long the aftermath will affect the brand image as a whole.

Rome was not built in a day, and neither was any reputation — ever. But, in a crisis situation, every second passing can break months of hard work, public trust, and ultimately, the brand’s image. That’s why businesses need to actively work on their TAT: to ensure that everything is safeguarded to their utmost ability.

How can PR pros improve their TAT during a crisis?

During a crisis, communication and providing a way forward to your audience is essential. This should be the very first thing to take place. Keeping all relevant parties in the loop will also allow the relationships a PR has with the brand to grow stronger and keep things under control.

Often during moments of crises, consumers will experience doubt towards a brand, and even rethink their decision to make use of its offerings — especially when the business fails to provide the expected product and standard.

But fear not! The crisis can be contextualised and put into perspective. As the PR pro, you just need to do it quickly! Inform your client of the issue as soon as possible. Be empathetic and understanding to make those fears disappear. Next, counter their worries with a well-constructed plan going forward.

This includes:
  • telling the client how many people are working on the issue, and what they are doing
  • rooting for the brand’s experience and confidence in its ability to fix the issue
  • providing direct communication to the client’s audience to keep them updated on the issue at hand
  • Investing in a content verification service, which will allow you to keep track of all online mentions allowing you to better determine your turnaround time.
And remember, transparency is key — always. Fixed statistics, data and evidence of the brand’s success accompanies a PR pro’s approach to TAT incredibly well, especially when it comes to communication with all entities involved.

Another aspect to consider is honesty. If your brand says that it is addressing the crisis in a certain way, then that is what the brand should be doing. Remember, actions speak louder than words!

What are your thoughts on having a turnaround time for clients? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

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Want to learn more on how to deal with PR issues? Then be sure to read more on Crisis management: Three steps towards recovery after a PR mishap.
*Image courtesy of Unsplash