Crises can, unfortunately, come in all shapes and sizes – and this will also depend on what your business does and the field in which you operate. The facts on paper for managing a crisis, however, remain the same – and while
there are a few technical or specific routes you can take to ensure that you come through any problems unscathed, crisis management is also heavily reliant on you keeping your cool and seeing the bigger picture. Don’t leave things to chance – here are five ways you can make sure you’re ready to bounce back from anything.
1. Don’t Dawdle with Your Crisis Management Plan – Plan Ahead
This is absolutely the number one point you should take away – never say that you’ll handle problems as and when they arise. Who’s to say that you will have the tools or the know-how to get through what could be a very public disaster? The best firms and brands know how to put plans into action when negative press hits – and this is because they have a clear plan in mind.
2. Be Quick – But Don’t Hide the Truth
The most important thing you can do once a crisis hits is not to waste any time worrying – you’re going to need to deal with your problems head-on, and when it comes to approaching the public or the media, the quickest route out of a catastrophe is, to tell the truth. Offer facts – advise your immediate strategy – and make sure that you only ever use the one channel to distribute such facts. Don’t let a crisis fester – the sooner it gets out, the sooner it can be handled.
3. Have a Designated Spokesperson
Effective, efficient crisis management is all the more speedy when spreading the news or handling the press is a role delegated to one or two specialists. Have someone trained and steeped in public relations to mount a crisis strategy that they can immediately launch should anything bad occur. This way, you’re spending less time focusing on finding someone to support you and more on ensuring that problems are fixed.
4. Back Yourself Up
It’s important to keep a paper trail – or digital footprint – of everything that goes on within your business. This not only helps to breed accountability, but it also helps to ensure that you have a solid stock of evidence available should anything bad occur that you need to defend against. Being honest and open about your practices from day one will ensure that you are more than protected against a wealth of bad press later down the line. It’s basic crisis management.
5. Avoid This Dreaded Two-Word Phrase
‘No Comment.’ It’s a phrase which many, many people roll out when approached with a difficult question, and time and time again, it is perceived as negative. Never shirk from questions – offer honest answers on what has occurred and how you intend to handle it – don’t leave anything down to implication or assumption, as it could cause you further harm!