Following on from last week’s blog about handling digital media in a crisis, just how do you make sure that you are ready to cope when the proverbial hits the fan?
Felicity gave a talk to the Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce recently looking at PR in general but in particular at how any business, from small local independent, to major multi-national, needs to prepare for a crisis in the same way.
Here’s our top five tips for being crisis ready:
1. Crisis audit – undertake a detailed assessment of where your risk is coming from. Examine every aspect of your operation from suppliers through production and delivery to consumption – be it a product or service.
2. Check your business context – look at the political, economic, legal, financial and social factors that could pose a threat – and plan the action you will need to take if the threat becomes a reality.
3. Develop a crisis plan – and make sure it is reviewed at least annually. Who is the spokesperson? How will the chain of command work for communication? Who briefs the media? Who briefs staff and stakeholders?
4. Media train your spokespeople – you don’t want the first time your CEO faces the press to be in the middle of a serious situation. Not only media train but role play too – we have found some surprising results from role play that have led to major changes to the spokesperson hierarchy.
5. Honest and transparent – even when the * hits the fan, you need to retain the ethics that your organisation represents or risk a loss of reputation. Honesty and transparency is fundamental to coping with a difficult situation. Communications must also be timely to avoid speculation filling the void.
If this all sounds like it’s going to take up too much of your hard pressed time, then we are here to help. We can undertake your crisis audit, create your crisis plan and train your key people – giving you peace of mind that should a problem arise you are in good shape to deal with it.