A public relations crisis is anything that could have a damaging effect on your business’ brand or reputation.

A public relations crisis can materialize in the form of a tainted or faulty product, poor and publicly exposed customer service, mistreatment of employees, and more. These situations can affect prospects, customers, and stakeholders alike, putting your company on the defensive to find a solution and to move forward.

A public relations crisis can cause a loss of trust in prospects and customers, or it could pose a direct threat to the health or safety of your staff and stakeholders. Effective crisis management, however, can actually bolster your business’ standing and prove that you are able to cleanly and effectively turn a negative into a positive, such as Johnson & Johnson working with the FBI, pulling its product from shelves, and offering discounts following a cyanide-laced Tylenol crisis in 1982.