Crisis? What crisis?

Often PR is used to communicate good news… but what if something not-so-great happens?

Amanda Jackson TigerfishBy Amanda Jackson, Tigerfish PR.

How many of us have heard those words “company x declined to comment” and jumped to our own conclusions? In the absence of official news, rumour and speculation tend to fill the void. At Tigerfish PR we have many years of advising clients on how to handle communications both good and bad, and here are our recommendations for dealing with a situation that might threaten your business continuity.

  1. Spend time anticipating what potential issues might affect your business, and work out your response. This will enable you to react quickly in the crucial minutes after the event
  2. Ensure that you have a trusted person to liaise with the press – your team will all be focused on resolving the issue.
  3. Never speculate on what has happened, simply stick to the facts.
  4. Show your human side. When a crisis happens, remember, staff and customers are looking to the senior management for a genuine response. If you’re shocked, sorry, working flat out to solve it… say so.
  5. Don’t wait for the dust to settle before saying something. It’s vital to keep key people in the loop. Tell your own team, and stakeholders, what is happening, even if you don’t know all the details.
  6. Practise your crisis plan regularly. It’s only by doing it, that you will spot the areas which can be improved.
As the old adage says: “it’s not just the crisis, it’s how you respond to it which matters.”