Topic of the Week -12- Crisis Mode! What to do?

I decided to talk about steps in preparing for a communication crisis.  This seems to be something that not a lot of people plan for but can really bite them in the behind.  Let’s first define what a communication crisis is.  Thanks to wikipedia, I was able to find a solid definition that covers all the ground.

“Crisis communication is sometimes considered a sub-specialty of the public relations profession that is designed to protect and defend an individual, company, or organization facing a public challenge to its reputation. These challenges may come in the form of an investigation from a government agency, a criminal allegation, a media inquiry, a shareholders lawsuit, a violation of environmental regulations, or any of a number of other scenarios involving the legal, ethical, or financial standing of the entity.”

It should be our number one concern as public relations people to make sure that this kind of thing is handled swiftly and with great care.  There are usually  a reputation at stake and mishandling the situation could lead to a poor reputation.

There are four different crisis’ that take place; meteor, predator, breakdown and lingering. These can be found on Barbara Nixon’s power point presentation.

In order to be prepared for this, you must have a solid contact list of people that need to be notified.  During situations like these, it is key to over communicate so that there is no confusion, which can only make the situation worse.  You will also want to have some facts about the company in order to so legitimacy and general information.  It is also important to have some kind of basic script already worked out so that your not running around trying to throw something together last minute, for this can cause even more confusion.

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