20 plus years in corporate communications Experience on Faculty at TTIA Travel College and how the communications part of a crisis are often handled by the same people who are managing the operational elements of a crisis. This caused me to think differently about managing in a crisis. Well-established protocols for crisis Great leaders Integrity of process The new time crunch
Maybe you are. Maybe you have good processes and Maybe you have confidence in them. Many reasons why you might not be: New leaders, unfamiliar with company culture New product line or new location or new guidelines for your company. New organization altogether….give example from Shawne at Eva’s Heroes. Research about preparedness saving company reputation and restoring to business as usual. Either way, you can start today or use today’s presentation to reflect on any changes necessary in your company.
Crises come in all shapes and sizes. Something as simple as a storm system could turn into Superstorm Sandy or Hurricane Katrina. Every organization, no matter its size, will face a crisis. Some statistics about the rapidity of crises.
Some examples of weak spots: lack of cable television. Nowhere to “muster” media who do show up. How to leverage your employees’ willingness to help.
When I first started in public relations, we had 3 hours to organize and issue a statement. Now if you’re not out there within one hour, you’re toast. Some companies in tech have a guideline of responding to any negative posting by their customers within 20 minutes. This puts incredible pressure on organizations to “go to the dark side” and think and plan for all the many evolutions of a crisis before they happen.
To me, the secret is building bridges. The first type of bridge to build is that of good relationships. Your local community, law enforcement, the news media and others. Investing in those good relationships when times are good means you will be treated more respectfully when times are not so good. But also bridges can be built with statements. One of the fallacies in the crisis planning that I learned as a young professional is that the statement was a be-all– a one and done. When in fact, today it’s merely a bridging statement. It gets your POV out there but is by no means comprehensive. Acknowledge that something has happened and what you’re doing now and that we’ll have more when we can talk about it.
Why there’s no SMART ART for this cycle…..
The simple fact of expressing your sorrow at an event is a huge investment in healing and growing after a crisis, yet continuously, some companies “lawyer up” and refuse to apologize. It’s frustrating for the general public, for consumers and no doubt for the public relations practitioner who wrote the statement and had to redline “sorry” right out of it.
Pick your cliché…it’s always darkest before the dawn. Every cloud has a silver lining, etc, etc. But we must as practitioners find the learning in every crisis.
Managing Your Next Crisis - The Power of 7
The Power of 7
Managing your Next Crisis
April 28, 2015
Not “If” but “When”
A Crisis is Inevitable for Every Organization
• Is There a Plan?
• Who Will Manage that Plan?
• How Will You Contact Your Team?
• Are Roles and Responsibilities Defined?
• Where Will you Assemble?
• Who is the Spokesperson?
• What happens when the power goes out?
Be A Planner
Preparation Makes Good Business Sense
• Get to know the “operational” crisis plan
• Use it to create a communications plan
• Create a call-back list or get an alert service
• Have leadership conversations
• Test EVERYTHING
• Find and fix your weak spots