A crisis is a situation that can occur at any point in time in an organization and if not handled efficiently, it can cause serious losses to the stakeholders, the organization’s reputation, and potential customers. So, it is always advisable to have contact with the experts of a PR firm that are capable enough of handling everything related to a crisis including crisis communication and management.
There are three phases of crisis communication and management and those are:
- Pre-Crisis Phase
- Crisis Response
As you might have learned the phrase “prevention is better than cure” and this is what is to be done in the pre-crisis phase. It involves seeking to reduce the known risks that can be the reason for the crisis in future circumstances. The procedure includes
- A crisis management plan to be placed in advance which needs to be updated at least annually.
- A designated crisis management team to be in place so that when the situation arises, the team must be prepared of handling it without panicking.
- Keep conducting regular exercises for testing the crisis management plan and team. Schedule them monthly, half-yearly, or yearly as per requirement.
- Always keep the team to be ready with the pre-drafted messages that need to delivered publicly to handle the situation immediately. You can take the advice of your legal team for drafting a perfect message that meets all the legal requirements as well.
- Always appoint a spokesperson that is going to communicate with the outside world including various media channels on behalf of the organization.
It is a situation where PR professionals play a very vital role. When a crisis hit, an immediate response must be given to the public to maintain their faith in the organization. Hence, the spokesperson needs to be ready with a quick message that is to be sent to the general public and other media publications. Three things need to be taken while responding to the crisis
- Be quick in responding to all the media channels.
- Be accurate about what needs to be said in front of them.
- And be consistent in what message you are putting in front of them.
Quickness and accuracy are very important to save the reputation of the organization among the public. If you take time in responding, several false stories will take over the media and it will become very difficult to retain the reputation of the organization from such a crisis.
It is the phase where the organization has recovered from the crisis phase and returned to the usual routine. You may not be focusing on the matters you were doing during the crisis, but the reputation repair needs to be continued during this phase as well. The crisis managers still need to stay in touch with the public and carry on with their communication plans. The organization keeps on releasing the necessary information to the public about the repair, investigations, and actions they are taking to take care of the situation that should not happen in the future.