Neti pots, the popular home remedy for sinus and allergy relief, are under some harsh criticism after two women in Louisiana have died from using the devices. Neti is a Sanskrit word that means ‘nasal irrigation’ and the ancient Hindu practice has become more widely used in the last decade or so.
Water is poured from the pots into one nasal cavity where it then travels up into the sinuses and out through the other side of the nose. The problem that occurred was the tap water used for the irrigation process contained amoebas which enter the body through the nose and actually eat away at brain cells.
When something like this happens, organizations are often left scrambling to try and figure out what to do. No crisis can be completely predicted, but having a strategic crisis communications plan will alleviate much of the stress a public relations crisis can bring as well as help to avoid further issues that might arise were there not a plan in place.
Here are three things an organization can do in times of crisis:
-Acknowledge that wrongdoing took place. Even if the organization doesn’t feel it was directly responsible, saying “no comment” or refusing to address the issue will ultimately make things worse. Sometimes just saying “we’re sorry” goes a long way. In the case that sorry just isn’t good enough, the organization can try to make it right in other ways.
-Provide answers to questions and be transparent to your audience. Offer multiple channels for communication so that consumers can feel their voices are being heard. Engage with consumers in a dialogue so they feel the organization cares about them and how they are feeling.
-Take necessary measures to make sure the crisis doesn’t repeat itself. In the case of Neti Pot, maybe there should have been special instructions about only using distilled or filtered water for nasal irrigation. Just don’t let the same problem keep repeating itself because of lack of action.
Crisis management is the process of anticipating and preparing to mediate problems that could arise and ultimately affect an organization’s environment and profitability. FletcherPR is made up of public relations professionals who understand how crisis communications plans should be developed and carried out. The long-term success of an organization depends on just this and we work with our clients to make sure all bases are covered in all types of unforeseeable events.
FletcherPR is a national communications firm that specializes in reaching women through the power of media. Headquartered in Knoxville, TN with staff in Nashville & Los Angeles, we are a full-service agency providing strategic public relations, social media and marketing communications services to our clients throughout the U.S.