Every business owner or organization director believes they’ve “got it together” when everything is running smoothly. Employees are happy, clients are happy, revenue is up. But what about when a crisis hits? That’s when, many times, things tend to unravel. Without a crisis communication plan in place, disaster is bound to happen.
Here are some tips on how you, as the company spokesperson, can maintain order when that inevitable crisis does hit:
- Stay calm. If you panic, then those around you will as well. If you remain calm, you’ll be better able to focus on the situation at hand and make sound decisions.
- Put out an APB. Get in touch with all employees that have contact with clients. Brief them on what has happened, the steps you will follow to react to the issue, initial instructions on how/if they should communicate externally, expected timeline for reaction, and how they can help.
- Investigate the issue. Talk to the people involved at the root of the crisis. Find out exactly what happened.
- Craft a message that will be disseminated and will remain consistent throughout the company. All staff members working on the crisis management team should be well-versed in the message and should be consistent in their response to any inquiries.
- No comment is still a comment. If the media asks for information about the crisis, be open and tell the full story. If you don’t, then someone else will, and may even give false information, thereby exacerbating the crisis. You want to ensure the media comes to you as their source for the story.
- Remain on top of the crisis through its resolution. This shows that the organization is concerned and also allows you to give updates to the media regarding where the company is at in resolving the situation
- Once resolved, reconvene the crisis management team to review what happened and evaluate how the plan worked. Make recommendations for possible improvements to the plan, if necessary.