PR: The Good, Bad and Ugly
Why Your Business Needs A Crisis Management Plan
by Patty Briguglio on 09/27/2012
We all want things to go smoothly. But every now and then, a crisis arises. It happens to everyone.
While facing this reality is painful, it is also necessary for your business’s success. As someone who has spent a lot of time around PR, I can promise you that all companies, yours included, need a crisis management plan in place – well before the crisis occurs. If you can handle a crisis appropriately, it will save you and your business a lot of time and trouble in the future.
Three Simple Rules
Facing a crisis might feel like the end of the world, but as bad as it is initially, it will just only get worse if it is not handled well. Faulty crisis management almost always opens the door to a great deal of problems, but a good plan allows your company to avoid unnecessary trouble. Do not practice silence or offer “no comment” – that is the kiss of death in a PR crisis. It just makes it look like you are hiding something much worse than what is already evident. Instead, make a plan that centers on the three pillars of crisis PR:
1. Tell it all.
2. Tell it fast.
3. Tell the truth.
Making This Plan Yours
These three rules will keep any crisis from spiraling out of control, and they set a solid framework for your plan. As you build your plan around these three always-applicable principles, make sure to customize it for your workplace.
Details of a crisis management plan differ according to the size of your company, the industry your company serves and the company culture. Your business needs to make sure that its plan addresses any concerns that are relevant. There is no “one-size-fits-all” method to a crisis management plan.
Managing the Media
Having a plan will allow your company to manage the media in a crisis, rather than having the media manage you. By including talking points in your crisis management plan, your company spokesperson will be able to cover all salient points during conversations with the media without having to worry about forgetting what they want to talk about or letting a reporter guide them off topic.
A plan will also help your staff know how to respond in a crisis situation. An effective plan informs every member of your company of his or her responsibilities during a crisis. It can assist them in knowing how to act accordingly, no matter what the situation.
A good crisis management plan will include strategies for reputation management and rebuilding your company and image following a crisis. Again, closely tailor this part of the plan to your company. “Cookie-cutter” rebuilding strategies just do not work. Your company will have unique needs and helping it recover from a crisis will most likely take some specialized attention.
As terrible as a crisis might be, it will only be worse without a good crisis management plan. Our team here at MMI Public Relations is happy to help your company create a plan. Contact MMI for help, or download our crisis management white paper to learn more.
Photo Credit: http://www.blogak.com/xa2er/crisis-what-crisis