Crisis Communication and the Crisis Team
April 26, 2012
If you’ve ever endured a personal or professional crisis (and I hope you haven’t), you know that it saps your time and energy and can crowd out both individual and corporate rational thought. A crisis that happens to a company that has not planned for it can result in a major blow to a company’s reputation and bottom line. In fact, a major public relations crisis can be as damaging as serious financial problems.
In this digital media dominated world with audiences starving for constant information, misinformation and error in a time of crisis can be fatal to your image. That’s why it’s important to have a crisis communication plan staffed by an effective crisis team ready to put it into action.
You need to build an ethical, diverse, responsive, responsible crisis communications team. Consider these qualities very carefully, because each team member must possess strengths to match them. They must be able to manage their time and others effectively, have a quick, analytical mind, and an understanding and appreciation for the media and its role. The team will be responsible for analyzing the situation and assessing the information at hand. The support of top management and key departments, such as legal or human resources, is vital. The team members will also craft key messages to address the heart of the matter and do so when time and media pressures are most intense.
This work is not for the faint of heart. So make sure your crisis team has the “right stuff” to do the hard work that can save your company’s reputation.