Regardless of whether you’re running a political campaign, small business or a Fortune 500, there will likely be a day when you’re faced with a corporate crisis that has the potential to negatively affect stakeholders and company finances.
Many business owners are completely unprepared for such an event, either believing that it will never happen or that there will be enough time to address the challenge when it comes. With social media demanding and enabling an unprecedented level of transparency, however, a great crisis management program is a must.
Crisis management should include initiatives designed to lessen the impact of the event and preventive measures to ensure that it does not spread any further. Effective crisis management can greatly reduce the negative fallout and get your company back on track much sooner. It should also include steps that will prevent any future similar crisis from occurring.
Crisis Communication Tactics
Your response will obviously depend upon the type and severity of the crisis. For this reason, it is important to have seasoned team of professionals who have been through this type of event and understand the variables. After setting up your team, designate someone – preferably with public relations experience – to speak on behalf of the company. Brainstorm with your team to identify what kind of crisis might affect your company and practice how you would respond.
It’s important to remember that immediacy and transparency are the two most important elements of any crisis response. Be as open and honest as possible and never lie about what happened. Often, the whole truth will eventually come out, and if you have been dishonest with the public, you lose all credibility.
At BioMedWire (BMW), one of our specialties is crisis communications. Using press releases, social media, your company blog and other similar outlets, we manage the crisis until it’s finally under control. Throughout this process we watch for opportunities to minimize damage, use the event as a marketing tool, and help you get back on track as soon as possible.