If your organization ever faces a crisis, human resources and public relations need to work together to ensure the best possible response. While HR and PR jobs may appear to be quite different on the surface, they both play a critical role in communications.
A company’s human resource department makes sure employees know what’s happening within a company. In fact, many internal communications functions are completed by the HR department. Public relations professionals tend to focus on external audiences — like your customers or clients, and the media. This is why it’s important for both HR and PR to work together during a crisis to ensure consistent messages are delivered to both internal and external audiences.
The human resources department will often be involved in a crisis right as it develops. This could be the unexpected injury or death of employees, high turnover or the loss of key executives, or legal matters involving current or former employees. Bringing in an expert communicator early to partner with the HR department can help an organization think through how difficult information can be shared with different audiences. What can you say publicly? What should you say? What do employees need to hear? What will we say to reporters?
If HR and PR professionals are in the same room collaborating on a communications strategy and response, you increase your chances of making sure your company handles a crisis situation to the best of its abilities.
When a crisis happens, it can often cause morale issues for the company’s staff. The heightened stress of the situation can make it difficult for employees to concentrate on their jobs. This is another area where HR and PR can collaborate and brainstorm — in order to deliver plans and programs that address employee concerns.
If your HR department and PR team do not currently strategize on crisis communication, they should. To talk to a professional about training and communications preparation with Tucker/Hall.