How To Plan Crisis Communication
“One of the biggest crises occurred in 2015 with one of the most renowned fast-food chains, Chipotle Mexican grill. The company was accused of food contamination and spreading bacterial infections with the ingredients used. It was a huge setback and massively took a toll on the company’s reputation” To tackle the crisis, Chipotle did take the necessary measures from apologizing to shutting down outlets to even conducting food examinations. Even, its founder, Steve Ells came out in open and talked to the media. They were responding to social media queries but not once did they address and comment on the actual issue. Although, their PR professionals tried to assure that the company is rebounding but no amount of assurance could deny the fact that crisis was not handled in the best way possible. Having said that, it is quite evident that the days where you could just bury your corporate heads in the sand and expect the crisis to fade away have been left far behind. In today’s competitive times, you would be facing immense pressure from your clients and customers to attend to their queries. Otherwise, your company, however, big or small will be considered as unempathetic and irresponsive to the scenario. Here are a few tips which you can use to your benefit to manage Pre and Post Crisis:
PRE CRISIS MANAGEMENT
1. Anticipating Crisis There are some potential threats or crisis which can be anticipated beforehand. For such situations, one can always plan ahead of time, keeping tools and team ready to tackle the situation promptly. These situations can be controlled by modifying the current methodologies, saving the company from any impending doom. 2. Delegating a team Identifying your heroes who can rescue the company in times of crisis should be the next intelligent step. Delegating a team that is proficient in crisis management and further training them with the apt skills would serve well. Make sure each member is imbibed with the right skills to perform their roles and responsibilities when the ship finally hits rock bottom. 3. Smart Media Tools You should have a profound knowledge of the media tools as they can be used effectively in circulating, monitoring and channelizing the accurate information across media. This can be done by either using traditional or digital mediums but using the proactive approach is the best plan of action when it comes to communicating with the masses.
POST CRISIS MANAGEMENT
1. Assess the crisis situation There are some circumstances that are inevitable. When the crisis occurs, it is highly advisable to have an internal discussion with the team, understand the situation inside out and only then react. Crisis situations need to be astutely handled only after having an overview of the entire scenario. 2. Post-crisis analysis Once the storm has settled and there are no more questions to be answered, you need to ask yourself “What did we learn from this?” Understand precisely what was done right, what went wrong, how else could we have reacted and how to avoid it from next time. These measures would require intense brainstorming sessions, but will play a crucial role in being prepared for any such situations and the lessons drawn from it can be incorporated into Crisis Management and Communications Plan.
Tags: Startup PR, Traditional PR, Inbound Marketing