Our teacher had us look at her slide show about Public Relations During Times of Crisis. She defined crisis as “a nonroutine event that risks undesired visibility that in turn threaten significant reputational damage.” I understood this as anytime the corporation is faced with an event that may that may disrupt operations or credibility. Some examples could be a flood in the building or even an employee being accused of being a sex offender. There are two main aspects I got out of the slide show: preparation and communication.
Planning puts everyone at ease. When people know what they need to do in a time of crisis, it makes the event a little less stressful. Planning also keeps things organized. To plan accordingly a crisis communication kit should contain 7 must have elements.
- A list of members of the crisis management team
- Contact information for key officers, spokespeople and crisis management team members
- Fact sheets on the company, each division, each physical location and product offered
- Profiles and biographies for each key manager in the company
- Copies of the company, division and product logos, the press release format and the scanned in signature of the CEO on disk
- Pre-written scripts answering key questions that have been generated through the crisis scenario analysis
- Contact information for each of your key media contacts both locally, nationally and if appropriate, key financial press and analysts
If none of that made sense, I simplify it. A crisis plan can be as simple as an evacuation plan. For example, my family had a plan to meet by the mail box if there was a fire in our house. When it comes to communication the plans allow people in charge of the resolving the crisis to have enough information to answer many questions.
Communicating is very important. The corporation should not keep things secret it looks specious.
- Tell it all
- Tell it fast
- Tell them what you’re doing about it
- Tell them when it’s over
- Get back to work
The bottom line be prepared, and if something goes wrong, don’t try to hide the problem; fix it.