Let’s set the scene. You wake up, turn on a pot of coffee, pick up your phone to get a head start on your emails for the day, and that’s when you see it – customer backlash, a security breach, an executive has been fired.
What happens next?
No matter what crisis occurs, there are two different ways this can go. The first, your company/client is sent into a panicked frenzy. You never thought something like this could happen. Could you still be dreaming? Your emails are piling up, your client is calling you nonstop. Now you’re rushing and likely not thinking straight.
Second, you gather your team and deploy your crisis communications plan that you all know and agreed on – with ease.
Before a disaster even strikes, meet with your team and identify threats and issues that seem risky. Questions should be answered, such as, what issues have competing products faced? What are common trends in your industry? Are there currently any negative thoughts surrounding your brand that could boil into something greater?
Prepare Your Team
Once you establish and identify your message, you must decide who will be deploying that communication to the public when the time comes. This will set you up for success, allowing you to dodge any confusion when it’s time to act.
Whether you’re on the agency side or handle PR internally, part of your preparation should include media training. Everyone should be aware of how to speak to media properly, with the appropriate messaging.
Don’t forget to keep in mind that you must reach your audience – What channels do they use? How often should you follow up? How will you monitor and handle feedback?
Looking to the Future
Once you have addressed the public regarding this crisis you just faced, how is your organization going to recover? The famous saying holds true – practice makes perfect! Meeting with your team to hold mock interviews and random drills will create a sense of urgency and allow those involved to be better prepared if ever facing a true crisis.