Handling a crisis such as airline or car accident, mole spores at a hotel, natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes and food poisoning can be challenging for sure. Irrelevant or impromptu responses could cause unimaginable damage to client’s reputation and can do more harm than the initial crisis.
Allen Marketing Communications, Inc, a boutique NYC travel and lifestyle public relations agency, understands that an effective crisis communication plan it important for managing and protecting our client’s reputation during crisis.
Here are five helpful tips for having an effective crisis communication plan.
Build a crisis management plan and strategy – Make sure to devise a proper crisis management plan and strategy in advance, naming the crisis response team which will take care of the task with an assigned person.
Crisis communication plan should describe how the information is going to spread among public, media and key stakeholders. Before any crisis happens, make sure to develop your plan of action with key stakeholders. It is always helpful to conduct crisis response stimulation in prior to ensure all key players are prepared for any unforeseen disaster.
Act fast – While handling a crisis, the initial 48 hours are pretty much significant. Simply ignoring the situation is not at all the feasible approach. It is important to evaluate the extent of damages and issue the appropriate statements in a timely manner to keep the media, the public and key stakeholders updated about the extent of damages as the situation evolves.
Devise a message – Work on creating different messages for different concerned people including employees, investors, press, clients, general public.
Our team of skilled crisis communication public relations professionals has found that issuing statements is a very effective tool 1) to control the messages, 2) to update the public, press and key stakeholders and 3) to ensure inaccurate information is not released to the press.
During the London bombings, our team issued timely statements to the media, to the public and to our stakeholders to ensure accurate information has been disseminated in a timely manner.
When Hurricane Irma passed over the Dominican Republic, our savvy crisis communication professionals issued statements in a timely manner 1) to communicate about the evacuation prior to the hurricane, 2) to notify the public and press about credits and change of dates for a future date and 3) to inform the media and public about post-Hurricane Irma damages, and the timetable for the property getting back on its feet.
In some cases, it will be important for a company spokesperson to hold a press conference, to issue an update and to answer questions from the media. It is vital for the company spokesperson to be a skilled communication that can control the interview, bridge to the next questions and state on message.
Do not allow the media to tell about your client’s story and stay ahead of the press.
Do consider social media – As a crisis communication medium, social media has its pros and cons. The medium could assist in sharing and interacting information quickly, answer to concerns promptly and resolve issues at a much rapid pace.
Though, it gets difficult to have control over content on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram since anyone can comment on these channels, modify the message and could make the crisis even worse. Make use of these social media to post timely, relevant and accurate information about the crisis.
Our boutique NYC PR agency highly recommends postings statements to control messages to the public and press.
Follow up – In any crisis, the tone plays an important role and do understand that the communications should be honest, transparent, sensitive and uttermost sincere. Conciseness is understandable and preferable.
It is really important that the company spokesperson does not appeal scripted at all in his or her message. If an apology is required, make it direct and convincing. The general public will forgive when the company spokesperson who appears to be sincere.
It is important to monitor the after effects within 24 to 48 hours of time to get an understanding of the situation. If it is cooled down a bit, stay quiet. If the crisis is still a hot topic, then our crisis communication pros recommends continue with the same response.
Our team of savvy crisis communication professionals are skilled at managing and protecting our client’s reputation during any natural or unexpected disaster. We are here to help. Give us a call.