Your company’s product just caught fire in a customer’s hand. A tawdry scandal in your workplace makes the news, placing you, and your stakeholders, in a precarious, if not legally threatening situation. What to do: stop and think or react?
Actually, both. The key is to remember that transparency applies here and NOW. By being honest with yourself, your colleagues, and your clients you’ll be armed to control the fallout.
A critical component of every enterprise business plan is a good crisis communications strategy to protect your brand, your partners and your constituents.
If not backed by a team of communications experts, a crisis – in either the form of a PR crisis or a physical one – could take its toll on the organization’s profitability, reputation, or all of the above, especially if news of the problem goes viral.
Here are some tips to stop the bleeding:
- Don’t wait until after the news breaks. Address the problem immediately with your lean and mean rapid response team. They’ll be at-the-ready to prep you with an actionable media strategy.
- Agree on a concise response and get it out to news, social media and broadcast outlets immediately. The clock is ticking, so take a breath, simplify next steps and ACT! Accept responsibility for the problem, apologize to your customers (genuinely!), and describe how you’re going to address the solution verbally and in writing.
- Handle the situation with dignity and respect for your constituents and get ready to go LIVE! You may be asked for on-air responses, so be prepared to answer all questions and don’t go off script. Your team has counseled you well, so trust them and stick to your message.
The bottom line is that you need to prepare for a crisis BEFORE you have one — and hopefully you won’t! Always be at the ready to shift into damage-control mode with a plan to stem the damage via great communications. It will be a time-saver, and reputation preserver for all stakeholders involved.