Hopefully, you already have a crisis response plan in place so you know how to respond properly should a crisis ever strike your company. Hopefully, you already know who the members of your crisis response team are, who the company spokesperson is, how you’ll gather information about the crisis, what channels you’ll use to respond, and so on.
But having a plan and executing it are two totally different things. The reality is that if a crisis does strike, you’ll probably feel a little out of sorts. You might panic and forget your crisis response plan altogether. Or you might get paralyzed with fear and not do anything at all.
The latter is especially dangerous. You have to do something. You can’t bury your head in the sand and hope the problem goes away. It won’t. If you don’t take control, things will get worse for your company.
So, take a deep breath, collect yourself, follow your plan, and respond quickly.
You have to start getting your message out immediately during a crisis. If you don’t take control of the conversation, someone else will, and chances are that you won’t much like what they have to say.
Even if you don’t have a complete handle on the situation, you need to at least release a statement letting everyone know that you’re aware of the situation and that as your learn more about it you will provide more information. By communicating quickly, you show everyone that you’re taking the situation seriously, and you can hopefully position yourself as the media’s main source, so they don’t go and talk to other, less-informed parties who might say things that tarnish your brand.
However, it’s important to point out that you have to be careful in your rush to communicate that you don’t comment on things you don’t know about. Often times in the early stages of a crisis, not all the facts are known, so if you aren’t careful, you could end up saying something incorrect that makes you look bad later on. Only comment on those things you’re absolutely certain about.
What are some other important things to remember when responding to a crisis? Comment below to let us know.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 8 Shocking Secrets Press Release Distribution Firms Don’t Want You to Know here: http://www.ereleases.com/landing3.html