The crisis is very much like this glass of water. The longer you hold it on, the heavier it gets. When you are ready to go through it, nothing happens. In any other case, the longer you wait, doing nothing to see how it goes longer, the worse for you until it swallows you.
The disaster is stressful and has many faces. It includes environmental issues, epidemics, or security issues; whatever it is, an emergency plan in place is a must. No matter the size or success of your company, it happens. And keeping your cool when things happen is challenging. No one solution works for all scenarios. However, a crisis communication plan does its best – minimizes the negative impact.
Why Do You Need a Crisis Communication Plan?
When you think that you’re not in a crisis-prone area, it occurs. It disrupts normal activities and affects your business. In the end, you are faced with a massive wave of support requests and frustrated customers.
Often, the event is hard to predict. It arrives with little or no warning in the shape of a disease outbreak, a drop in turnover, or scandals. The result of a downturn in clientele to your business is one of the possible options for you.
Like it or not, we rarely predict it. However, we can certainly prepare for it. The key word here is to be prepared. Knowing how to anticipate, be calm, and answer the multitude of questions that arise is priceless.
Who should be notified? What information do you need to give them? Who will respond if the media reaches out? What should you post on your social media platforms?
The emergency event has various reasons:
- Natural – they just happen;
- Man-made – can be avoided.
In any case, knowing how to handle it has never been more relevant. The last thing you want is to provoke fear, confusion, and panic.
How high is the chance that people may turn to unreliable or incomplete information? Very high. People are more likely to rush into anything when they do not know what’s going on.
Give them facts. The public needs clear information about the event. Don’t let chaos gain control. And a protocol that defines the best practices for communicating with customers, investors, and the media will cover you on all fronts. This way, you will survive even if everything seems to be going wrong behind the scenes.
Strategies for Successful Crisis Communication with Examples
The idea behind socializing is to prevent negative publicity this way or another. Although many businesses know the importance of socializing, few of them have a clear plan or strategy in place. According to research, only 47 percent of employers have a well-set protocol with the best possible outcome.
A good rule of thumb is to hire a PR agency to handle all the details of the event. It takes responsibility to communicate clearly, quickly, and effectively. In a moment when you are not prepared, a PR team saves the day. Let them share your news and stories on your terms ASAP. It is a smart way to tell the masses what you are going to do to ensure that it never happens again.
The most valuable asset a brand has is its reputation. It has the highest level of vulnerability, 73 percent. Every crisis is different, and so is the way to handle them. The negative impact is common for each case and places a business or its stakeholders at risk.
Creating an effective response requires the assessment of the situation. And a smart way to start is to determine which of the three clusters is yours.
Responding in the correct way is essential. Otherwise, it carries the risk of escalating the attack. The biggest part it impacts the reputation threat.
According to the situational crisis communication theory, they are:
- Victim – the company is the victim of the emergency (natural disaster, rumors). Reputational threat: minor.
- Accident – the company’s actions are unintentional and lead to the disaster (product failure, accusations from external stakeholders). Reputational threat: medium.
- Intentional – the company knowingly takes inappropriate risks. Reputational threat: major.
Many strategies help you manage the circumstances of the event in favor of your brand. The following four are essential and should be high on your list. The good thing is that you can mix and match the details to have things all set and ready to go in no time.
- Plan Ahead
Create a detailed scenario that outlines every conceivable case and appropriate response. Yes, that will take much time and is a key reason why many organizations do not have to create one. However, the truth is that prevention is better than cure, in any case. And in the time of the event, when you need to save critical time and resources, the plan comes to the rescue.
- Speed in Key
The fast response shows that you control things. You won’t have all the details for the days, and that’s nothing to worry about, but an immediate acknowledge of the situation is a must.
- Be Up Front
Customers won’t buy the lie. Neither will investors and stakeholders. Although it might sound beautiful, the lie is more likely to play against you. No matter how hard it is, take responsibility to tell the truth. The bad behavior will find its way to the headlines, but the result is you won’t like it for sure.
- Involve experts
It is easy to feel alone when you are bombarded from every direction. It shouldn’t be that. An emergency is not something you need to do alone. Instead, there is a whole world of professional PR agencies, like PRNEWS.IO that come washing in for help to help you get through it. Whether you need help in sharing stories, connecting with media, or writing press releases, you are in the right place. With the right partner on your sleeve, your business will manage any disaster and save face.
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Want to know how big corporations effectively deal with a emergency?
Words can be quite mighty, can’t they? One wrong word could trigger a fight, cause a confusion, or damage personal relationships. However, used right, they manage emergency and become a textbook example of crisis communication. And Johnson & Johnson holds the palm of the best emergency management strategies in history.
It was late 1982 when seven people in Chicago died after taking cyanide-laced capsules of the medication, Tylenol. Although the incident is still unclear, the company’s response has become the script brands use today. It was a brilliant example of transparency and actions in handling the situation towards managing a disaster.
Don’t wait for a disaster to occur to test your plan. Act in advance. Once you see it happens, the next step is to take action. A negative impact won’t go anywhere, it needs to be handled in the correct way. PR teams should move quickly to minimize any negative impact on brand trust through traditional and social media. That’s where a specific protocol comes in handy to ensure your team can take a measured response to data breaches.
In an ideal world, your socializing plan will never be activated. But won’t you feel better knowing you have one?
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- 100+ content ideas for your B2B startup;
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Crisis Communication Plan FAQ
What Is Crisis Communication in PR?
Crisis communication is what a company does in light of a disaster. With it, you will see how quickly the situation can change. The key aim of PR is to protect the reputation of the organization and maintain its public image.
How to Write a Crisis Communication Plan?
A great way to go is to use ready-made templates. But first, do homework to create a framework with easy-to-follow steps. Identify your audience, build contract lists, establish socializing channels, prepare your team, and craft your message. Then combine the data to develop key messages and create a plan.