Stay calm and carry on. That is easy to do if you take the advice from most crisis management PR firms. The “It won’t happen to my business” is not the philosophy to hold when it comes to publicity that muddies up your pristine reputation.
A crisis is born out of an emergency or a situation that demands a response. It never indicates anything positive for a person, place, or thing. How can you stay calm after your product has been recalled, a brawl broke out in your parking lot, or a tragedy occurred inside your corporate headquarters?
When you have an up-to-date crisis management plan in place, you can follow it to the letter Or you can pay the price. The staff at reputable crisis management PR firms knows how smoothly a concise plan works in an emergency situation. The basic plan should include all of the following, which should be regularly updated by an appointed person:
- Media Spokesperson – Add contact information.
- Backup Media Spokesperson – Add contact information.
- Include language that shows concern for the public, your employees, and customers.
- Gather the factual information as quickly as possible.
- Always admit the truth and say you are taking responsibility for a solution to the problem.
Also, your plan should take into consideration situations that are out of your control, such as inclement weather, long-term power outage, or server breakdowns that impact critical data.
The ideal situation, however, would be the “good defense makes a good offense” mentality and take the steps to solidify your goodwill with the public before a disaster strikes. People look the other way, or are more understanding when you have a fund of goodwill publicity of third-party credibility.