Are you prepared for disaster?

Sadly, there are always business disasters. But often it’s not the disaster that lingers in the memory… it’s how a company deals with it.

By Amanda Jackson, Tigerfish PR.

PR doesn’t have a magic wand, but what it can do is help with communication. If there is an incident, in the absence of information, rumour and speculation are rife.

The role of any PR team is to:
  • advise the business leaders/ owners of best practice – and so having experience in how it’s done elsewhere is invaluable.
  • to keep all the publics involved as appropriate – to minimise the ‘information vacuum’ effect
  • act as a sounding board
  • create content for websites/ social media outlets
  • to provide a point of liaison for the media
  • guide the management with holding statements, employee meetings and press conferences
Take for example the propane tanker fire on the M56 10th August 2015. Thankfully it didn’t result in any fatalities, but there was considerable traffic holdups and it impacted on many many people – not least of all Calor, the firm involved. And this is how they dealt with it on their website - a big thumbs up to them for some great crisis PR.

What did they do?

  • Created a short release immediately with what they knew
  • Expressed concern
  • Said they were working with the emergency services
  • Mentioned their safety systems
  • Didn’t speculate
  • Updated the information when it changed
This is exactly the advice we give our clients – whether it’s a logistics firm or a manufacturer – or in fact, anyone, because no one is exempt. It's always good to have a plan, because you never know what’s around the corner.