How to Manage a Crisis

Dominic Black, @dominic_black7

There are very few things that are certain in life. One of which is the fact that unexpected things happen all the time. Whether it is a fender bender, sickness or even death, it is impossible to know exactly what your next day on Earth will look like. In the PR world we call these unexpected events crises. A crisis is: The perception of an unpredictable event that threatens important expectancies of stakeholders related to health, safety, environmental and economy issues. It is important for every business to develop a crisis management plan to know how to respond in a crisis situation.

Just as unexpected situations in life vary, types of crisis vary as well. Crises that are acts of God or natural disasters will always be impossible to plan for. However, it is possible to plan for, and possibly prevent, crises that are caused by human failure. It is important to pay attention to what is going on with your business as well as the people connected to your business. If you can recognize potentially harmful situations you can address it before anything bad happens. Although this will not always be the case. Most of the time you will be responding to a crisis after it has already happened.

The three most important steps to respond to a crisis appropriately:
1. Tell the truth
2. Communicate quickly
3. Be compassionate

Though these three steps aren’t an exact plan of say this or say that, they are the basic steps of how to handle a crisis situation. If you don’t tell the truth, communicate quickly and fail to be compassionate then your organization will suffer.

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