Plan Ahead to Prevent Crisis Missteps
While executives cannot predict a crisis, they can expect one will affect their organizations at some point. Proper planning and training will help organizations respond quickly and appropriately when a crisis threatens, mitigating potential damages and/or taking advantage of opportunities.
We define a crisis as a critical event or period of time, which can bring about significant change – either good or bad. Crises may affect an organization’s financial stability or reputation. While some crises are huge like a plane crash or workplace shooting, most are more routine such as lawsuits, layoffs or product recalls. And in today’s fast-paced, information-on-demand culture with instantaneous global news coverage, both good and bad news travel at the speed of light.
There is no one way to address a crisis because each situation is different and requires individualized strategies and tactics. However, there is basic advice that applies to virtually every potential crisis situation:
- Have a crisis plan and update it at least annually
- Designate a crisis team
- Identify and prepare spokespeople
- Keep employees informed at an appropriate level
- Communicate when the crisis is officially over
The crisis plan does not need to be long or complicated. It should simply provide a general roadmap for the crisis team and perhaps some placeholder messaging for spokespeople. The crisis team will need to develop specific strategies and tactics for each crisis to steer the organization through the event.Overwhelmed by a crisis? You don’t have to go it alone. Ayers Public Relations has experience with crisis communications in a variety of industries and situations. Contact us to learn more.