Regardless, crises do arise – often quickly – and need to be dealt with efficiently and effectively to stem confusion, ease potential fears among customers, partners, shareholders and other constituents, and, avoid damages to a company’s reputation.
While large crises may need services from crisis communications experts, a company’s communications team can manage most crises. The operative word here is “manage,” for these situations need attention, should never be ignored, and call for utmost patience and professionalism.
Below, are a few reminders when crises strike.
1) Know the facts before responding to a situation. Some cases that appear urgent may not require a response;
2) Counsel with your legal team to understand the ramifications involved;
3) Develop and agree on appropriate response to crises; include resolution;
4) Identify a communications team or person to manage/drive activities;
5) Plan communications timing, audiences (internal and external), spokespersons, communication vehicles, and key messages;
6) Always tell the truth, but remember that often times, less may be more;
7) Do not respond in knee-jerk fashion before you do certain things — revisit first three bullets above;
8) Monitor response feedback and remain alert to the situation and circumstances that may change;
9) Refresh messages and appropriate communication to audiences providing updates as needed;
10) Remember: Always speak the truth, but don’t rush to speak and do not ignore key constituents, including media, during crises which requires a response.