Crisis 101: Always be prepared
Published in ColoradoBiz Magazine
At some point, every company will deal with a crisis. Large, small, tragic, political, some event or incident will require a company to reactively manage its reputation and what others are saying. Philosophy advises all of its clients to have a crisis communication plan in place so you’ll be ready to communicate the facts, minimize damage and manage your reputation at a moment’s notice.
In the event of an incident, communication is key. In some instances, you can simply monitor what the media, your customers and the general public are saying about your company. But at other times, you need to be prepared to jump into the conversation.
Here’s what you should consider:
- Be the source – If you’re not providing the information, the media will find other, possibly less-reputable and less-accurate sources. Alternatively, people will start chiming in with their accounts of the incident — and that’s the fastest way for a small incident to spiral into a massive nightmare.
- Speak with the media – Nothing says we’re guilty like “no comment.” Reporters’ ears are trained to perk up at those two little words. They will dig and dig and dig to find out what you’re hiding behind that “no comment.” Use the media to your advantage. Give them the facts you can share, speak to the public through them, let them advocate for you.
- Set the record straight – If someone is saying inaccurate things about your company or an incident that occurred, set them straight. Contact the reporter or blogger and give them the facts. Keep in mind that it’s a reporter or writer’s job to get the information, so you’re going to have to prove the inaccuracies.
Take responsibility – You can run, but you can’t always hide. Simply trying to ignore an issue or pretend like it’s not a problem will not make it go away. Remember BP and the Gulf oil spill? Enough said.
While your company is healthy, take the time to prepare a crisis communication plan so that you’re ready to act if necessary.