We live in a world where everything can become public very quickly, under circumstances that will not be favourable to you. I do not want anyone to have to learn crisis management “on the job.”
If one of your employees makes a mistake and makes inexcusable comments on the web? If you show your “big dirty life” on Instagram, but basically, you’re on the brink of bankruptcy, will you handle this situation and limit the damages to your brand?
Each plan starts with goals. What do you want to accomplish? What is the result you want to achieve at the end of this mishap. Ideally, you want to sit down with your key people and analyze what crises might strike you and how you plan to manage them.
Identify a Spokesperson
The worst thing you can do is look like a group of hens running everywhere! If the crisis can impact your customers, the general public, or your employees, chances are you’ll get media attention. Unwanted attention.
Be sure to first handle the message internally and then broadcast the message externally in one voice. Your spokesperson will be the public face of your business and will need to be able to answer media questions.
Be Honest and Open
If you are a slave to Netflix, like me, you probably know about Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal. What is the first rule for ALL Olivia Pope’s clients? Always tell the truth. The best way to silence rumours is to be honest.
Transparency will always apply in traditional media, social media and with your employees.
Keep your staff informed
This is the best way to silence rumours internally and make sure your entire team has the same information. This will help you better manage what is conveyed by your employees on social media.
Communicate With Your Customers and Suppliers
These people are your business partners. They will hear rumours, perhaps disturbing messages through the various medias. Their confidence in you will probably be affected. There are not 72 ways to solve this problem.
Take the lead and address the crisis head on. Take the phone, communicate clearly and honestly with your customers and suppliers. Reassure them with the truth and keep them informed with regular updates on your situation.
Offer regular updates
If you want to control what’s being said about you in the media, you’re always better off updating frequently and not waiting for them to be requested.
All the information about a crisis that your business is experiencing should come from you first. Your customers should not learn anything from someone other than your spokesperson. Do not forget that the news does not stop with those of 11 pm. The news arrives at any time of the day with social media. Consider it in your communication plan.
Do Not Neglect Your Social Media
The last few years have shown us that social media is extremely important in proactive crisis management. Make sure a member of your team follows you for what’s happening on your different accounts and comments, reproaches, etc. are addressed appropriately.
The Consequences of a Poorly Managed Crisis
The consequences can ruin ten years of hard work, and this in a few days. Make sure your company has the resources and processes in place to deal with them. Another important aspect of managing a crisis is the succession plan. It must be planned in advance. Whether it is a sale of shares, sale of business etc. it’s a reflection that needs to be done with your partners.
I sincerely hope you’ll never need this article.