Remember the Easy-Bake Ovens that burned children or the several drug companies that released bad batches of medication with disastrous consequences? The bad news is that terrible events can happen at any time, which may or may not be in your control. If your company experiences a crisis that results in victims and bad publicity, you will need to employ crisis communication management. If you’re ever in this situation, here are three things you should do:
1. Don’t Wait To Respond
Companies that are silent in the midst of horrible circumstances for which they are perceived to be at fault are viewed as cold and uncaring. It may take time to gather all the data to understand what went wrong and what the remediation plan is. It is okay to not have all the answers immediately, but it is not okay to delay your communication until you figure out everything.
2. Maintain Consistent Communication Throughout Your Company
It is wise to develop a crisis communication policy and implement it when necessary. Part of this plan may include specifying key individuals who are allowed to speak on behalf of the company and notifying most employees that they are not to make statements to news outlets or reporters. Should the need arise for your employees to respond to upset customers, ensure everyone delivers a consistent message. The last thing you want is for customers to hear different stories.
3. Don’t Point Fingers
If in your due diligence, you discover an issue with a supplier or contractor, then it is okay to present that information along with other pertinent data. However, be careful to not transfer blame or appear defensive. Your company may not have caused the problem, but they must be accountable to manage and correct it. Customers don’t want to hear that it’s not your problem.
Crisis communication is critical to mitigating the risk of bad public relations. Hopefully, you never have to use it. But if you do, executing the pointers identified here will help to ensure you live to see another day.