Failure can result in serious harm to stakeholders, losses for an organization, or end its very existence. Public relations practitioners are an integral part of crisis management teams. So a set of best practices and lessons gleaned from our knowledge of crisis management would be a very useful resource for those in public relations. The best place to start this effort is by defining critical concepts Definitions There are plenty of definitions for a crisis.
This individual will be the face of your company during a crisis situation. Your spokesperson must be able to handle all types of communication and perform well under pressure. Your spokesperson must be comfortable with live or on-camera interviews and written statements.
Most importantly, this individual must understand the difference between PR and crisis communication.
Your communication team should also draft a united holding statement for the media. Decide on the framework and get approval from your legal team ahead of time. Start Brand Monitoring Brand monitoring enables you to quickly catch negative content and address criticism before it goes viral.
Cast a wider net by setting alerts for trademarks and CEOs as well. Social monitoring also plays a critical role in protecting your reputation. While Google Alerts is excellent for warning you about negative articles, your customers may post criticism on social networks that could go undetected.
Many social media monitoring tools are free, but there are also plenty of white glove services available if you have room in your budget. You will also want to establish a social media team specifically for the crisis in question to track any mentions of your company, respond professionally and appropriately, and to post strategically in order to minimize the effects of the negative news cycle and begin reclaiming your company name.
Crisis Resolution Assign one team to the task of identifying the root causes of the problem and fixing them. Problems can include everything from flawed processes to security breaches or even sabotage. Therefore leadership must dig beneath the surface to address underlying policies and prevent similar issues in the future.
Your resolution team should include financial and legal executives to help determine an appropriate means of reparation for victims. Crisis Communication Your communication team should be diverse enough to gather and understand a wide variety of data.
Some audiences will require in-depth information regarding technical details, while others will only need high-level executive summaries. Train multiple sets of individuals as potential spokespeople to handle a wide variety of issues. Many employees may have gone through training and understand your crisis communications plan.
Designating a single point of contact will ensure consistent internal and external messaging. You will also need to keep all of your employees, customers, and suppliers in the loop throughout this process.
Maintain regular correspondence and keep them updated on any new developments to retain some control over the situation. This serves to help preserve their trust in you as well as to quell any possible rumors that could result from a lack of communication. How a Crisis Affects Your Business An organization deals with many types of crises outside of their control.
Natural disasters such as earthquakes and oil spills or industrial accidents can be impossible to prevent, yet other crises may be directly caused by your company or employees.This crisis communication plan will outline a generic, basic crisis communication plan.
To apply it to your situation you may need to adjust some things and add your own information. It is not intended to answer all questions or fill all needs it is just a basic outline of options you might consider if and when you are in the midst of a crisis. Being prepared to address a challenge quickly in a crisis is the key to maintaining the trust of your clients and employees.
But there are some hard and fast rules about communicating that you. The crisis communication standards offer suggestions for how crisis managers can match their crisis response to the nature of the crisis situation. Coombs, W.
T. (). Code red in the boardroom: Crisis management as organizational DNA.
The crisis communications team, consisting of members of the management team, should operate in an office environment to support the contact and information centers. The offices may be clustered near the emergency operations center or at an alternate site if the primary site cannot be occupied.
The best way to handle a crisis communication situation is to have a plan in place for managing a crisis situation. Of course, you will not know what specific crisis might occur, but having a contingency plan in place—so that your organization knows who will talk with the media, the "chain of command" for decision-making, and how.
Crisis communication is a sub-specialty of the public relations profession that is designed to protect and defend an individual, company, or organization facing a public challenge to its reputation. Additionally, it is important to separate a true crisis situation from an incident.