Crisis Communications during a crisis:
Few circumstances test a company’s reputation or competency as severely as a crisis. Whether the impact is immediate or sustained over months and years, a crisis affects stakeholders within and outside of a company. Customers cancel orders. Employees raise questions. Directors are questioned. Shareholders get restless. Competitors sense opportunity. Governments and regulators come knocking. Interest groups smell blood. Lawyers are not far behind. In that situation Crisis communication is proved to be a blessing which aims at protecting the reputation of the organization and maintaining its public image.
Why companies need effective crisis communication?
Information is critical during unexpected events and emergencies. Precise, timely, and relevant information is essential for businesses to maintain trust and credibility; for employees, customers and vendors, it can help in decision-making that may affect personal safety or productivity. Most importantly, it is vital to help provide rapid and appropriate assistance to those who need it following a crisis.
Given its important role, crisis communication must be part of an effective business continuity plan, and not come as an improvised afterthought. Every business should have a crisis communication plan to ensure that accurate information is provided before, during and after a disruption, minimizing problems caused by untimely or misleading communications.
What to do if something happen in your business and become a crisis?
Communicate. The first rule of managing a crisis is to communicate. Early hours are critical and they set the tone for the duration of the crisis. The media’s first questions are likely to be simple and predictable:
- What happened?
- When did you know about the problem?
- What are you doing about it?
- Who’s to blame?
- Were there warning signs?
- How will life or property be protected or compensated?
Be as forthright as possible; tell what you know and when you became aware of it; explain who is involved and what is being done to fix the situation. Be sure to correct misinformation promptly when it emerges.
Respect the role of the media. The media are not the enemy; they have direct access to the audiences you need to reach. Rather than avoiding the media, use them as a conduit to communicate key messages. Prepare a statement that includes the confirmed facts; communicate what the company is doing and provide background information.
Plan for the worst; hope for the best. Assume the worst-case scenario. Develop contingencies for the hours and days ahead, forecast possible consequences and determine plans of action.
Communicate with employees. Remember that employees are your front-line “ambassadors” in a crisis. Be sure they are aware of what the company is doing to deal with the situation.
Third parties. Use third parties to speak on your behalf. Third parties act as character witnesses and often carry more credibility than the organization at the center of a crisis.
How REPURISK support your business in crisis?
A crisis could hit your business at any time. A fire that destroys your workplace. The death of a key staff member. A major product safety issue. A boycott of your company. And you can add more scenarios from your own list of worst nightmares. Any of these events can cause an immediate and prolonged impact on your organization, its reputation and even its license to operate.
Repurisk provides a broad range of communications counsel and services to support companies facing a crisis. We develop an organizational plan to respond to the crisis. The plan includes an analysis of constituencies and scenarios, development of vehicles to reach constituencies, assignment of spokesperson and other responsibilities and timetables for communications. Our team is expert in creating a set of messages that will form the basis of all communications, including generation of a comprehensive set of potential questions by relevant constituencies and answers built around the messages. We also provide training in techniques to communicate specific messages to your employees while addressing to the news media and other constituencies.
Contact our team today…!
A crisis is a turning point or defining moment for an organization. The way a company manages with an adverse situation—especially in the current economic environment—can extremely debilitate or greatly enhance its operations, customer loyalty, investors’ confidence, community standing and employee morale, in short its reputation. At RepuRisk, we help our customers with protecting and reinforce their reputations.
In order to learn more about how our crisis communication services can be helpful for your company, please navigate to our contact us page. We will be glad to help you in any case.