By: Kacie Van Stiphout
Obviously, there isn’t any “right” way to deal with a crisis. What should happen beforehand is
When a crisis hits, there are some definite go to’s and stay away from’s. I think there are 3 easy steps to the initial post crisis communication plan. Obviously. some of these crisis’ will have longer outcomes and will be more drawn out, however, if you deal with a crisis in these first steps..the crisis can be as quickly as diffused as possible.
Step 1: Identify your investors (or stakeholders, etc)
If you haven’t pre-planned and this crisis comes at a HUGE shock. Then initially find your surroundings and try to get the major facts as quickly as possible. From there, know and NOTIFY your stakeholders. This means, what happens to the people that care the most about your organization or client. Depending on the crisis, some stakeholders will hold a deeper investment to your brand than others. In my opinion, and according to other articles, the stakeholders that hold the biggest investment in your client/brand will also suffer the most from the crisis. So, deal with this relationship first.
Step 2: Create your Key Messages
In this step, you’ll need to address the public or the media. You’ve heard about the initial crisis and next you’ve developed who’s really at stake (other than yourself/the brand) now you need to come to the media with something to say. This may be an apology. An apology can be approached in 7 tips according to this site: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2017/06/14/seven-tips-to-perfect-apologies-during-a-pr-crisis/#39ed
Otherwise, bring forward a sense of empathy or sympathy. If you choose not to explicitly say “I’m sorry” then come forward with a sense of acknowledgment and a motivation or goal to move forward and to learn from the crisis. (If need be).
Step 3: Prepare for the future
Learn from this mistake or for future obstacles that could “pop up” later on. Just because a brand or an organization has experienced one crisis, doesn’t mean another one won’t surface later on. Obviously, when you learn and impliment crisis management objectives/tactics you’re then automatically more prepared for the next one.
The ultimate step? Be PRE-PREPARED for anything (or most things) that could happen.