social crisis communicationsIn August, The Children’s Place recently found itself in a PR crisis when consumers complained through social media channels about messaging on a girls’ t-shirt that they found offensive.

Multichannel Merchant reported about the crisis in “The Children’s Place Goes Social with Apology.” The Children’s Place quickly responded to this article as well as many other concerned voices online with an apology and they pulled the t-shirt in question off the racks.

In the article by Multichannel Merchant, Creative Concepts founder Valorie Luther offers insights into how to handle a crisis. Luther agrees that for a short term fix, The Children’s Place did the right thing by promptly responding with an apology and removing the offensive t-shirt from their clothing line. Being transparent and timely is important in the first line of crisis communications.

When preparing to issue a statement as TCP did on Facebook and Twitter, Luther states to “bring all the players together for the brand in deciding how you want to handle the situation, what the feelings are and what strategy you plan to implement through traditional public relations methods, social media and other ways you as a brand communicate. ”

Apologize and then listen. Listening to your customers is very important. If the backlash is really bad, taking the conversation offline where talking in-person is extremely valuable. “It is about making a personal connection.”

How the company will prove its merit moving forward will depend on if they change their internal processes “so they honor girls in the future instead of stereotyping.”

Make sure your organization has a plan in place for a crisis. Review your internal processes and communication plan to be sure you are prepared.

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