Crisis Management 101 Are you prepared ?
Keeping your reputation protected involves being prepared for crises. Service-based businesses are very likely to have a crisis, and the impact differs from business to business. Understanding the basics prepares you!
1. Identify your crisis communications team. (Ideally the a decision-maker, PR, and legal)
2. Identify spokespersons and ensure they are prepared to speak to your customers
3. Establish communications protocols.
Establish an emergency communications process flow (a one-page document) and distribute it internally to inform your team of what to do and who to call if there’s an actual or potential crisis.
4. Know your audiences – internal and external.
Remember your employees, your customers, the community, and your private investors.
5. Be proactive
Anticipate crises, proactively brainstorm potential crises.
6. Assess the situation.
Reacting without adequate information is a classic “shoot first and ask questions later” scenario. With proper planning, you can follow your own crisis plan.
7. Identify key messages.
Keep it simple with no more than three main messages for all audiences and a few messages targeted specifically at key audiences.
8. Decide on communication methods.
Brief your team, clients, prospects, community and investors personally or via text messages, e-mails, social media. Distribute news releases, letters or hold briefings and news conferences for the media.
9. Ride out the storm.
Some of your audiences will not react the way you want. Take an objective look at the reactions. Decide if making additional communication is worth the effort.
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