Crisis communication: 10 points to follow
Crisis communication: 10 points to follow
In a society guided daily by all-media, and social networks, it is difficult for a company to avoid crises that affect your brand image. Whether they are financial, budgetary, restrictive, terrorist, stock market or restructuring, they very often end up in the media. But then what should we do? We must react quickly, and even prevent any risk, by preparing as well as possible. With these ten tips to follow, before and during the crisis, you will be able to manage all the difficulties.
1. The crisis unit
This is the first step before anything else. You must create this unit quickly, which will consist of a reactive working group and a person in charge who is aware of the current problems. This cell will be used to gather all the essential information to put it on a dashboard, determine the key points to be addressed, and above all analyze the potential approaches. Its primary role remains to be able to explain and interpret the crisis while managing it, to ensure that it does not happen again.
2. Do not burn the steps
It is essential not to rush into this panic. To begin, take the time to collect all the information, so that it is safe and complete and then present the appropriate solutions in relation to the key themes addressed in the crisis unit. Once you have done that, be responsive, the decisions to be taken are important, but so is the speed with which you work with the crisis unit. This may seem like an insignificant step, but it is essential for good management. By conducting it rigorously, you will put all the chances on your side to succeed in managing this crisis under the best possible conditions. So agree to take time to follow the different steps. In this way, you will put all the chances on your side for your crisis communication.
3. The preparation
To avoid any unpleasant surprises, use crisis tests during the year. These tests will make it possible to check the reactivity, to check the functioning of the communication channels, and above all to evaluate the communication of the spokespersons. That is, there is highly recommended mediatraining information for the latter, so that they can convince and create a climate of trust in all situations. And to go further in prevention and time saving, feel free to create arguments and key messages on specific topics now.
4. Controlled information
As we all know, speaking out can always be risky. It is obviously used to inform, but above all to reassure in order to establish or restore a climate of trust, and in some cases, to correct erroneous information. An additional piece of advice, focus on facts and stay away from anything that comes close to the debate of opinion. If you hesitate, why not ask a colleague? If he has already been through this situation, he will be able to guide you and give his opinion. This will allow you to communicate as accurately as possible by delivering only the information necessary to manage this crisis.
5. The attitude
At this stage, the decisive action is to remain factual. You must not arbitrate criticism, nor seek or discredit officials. What matters is to remain calm and neutral, while being understanding, without falling into excess or indifference. Control yourself because the worst can be what you get out of it, so it’s all in your attitude. That is why it is very important that you take a step back not only on the health of your company in its most general sense, but also as far as you are concerned. These two aspects must evolve at the same time and this is what will determine your success and the proper management of this task that overwhelms you. So be positive and work on your attitude, you won’t regret it.
6. Showing up
The basic thing is to control the crisis so that it does not extend further to the proper functioning of the company. That is the difficulty, but also the priority. Your reaction will be decisive, so don’t be silent, it would be perceived as guilt or worse, weakness, and the accusers would have a strong hand in the media. It is not only a question of reacting quickly, but also of reacting well, the good health of your company depends on it and this will allow you to better manage all types of situations in the future, especially the most delicate ones.
7. Communication channels
The main thing is to keep control by choosing to set up supports, you will precisely contain the information, and direct the people concerned to personalized support. Provide a special phone number, a psychological cell in place, or even an email address. The goal is not to damage the stability of your company. You have at your disposal a wide range of means of communication, so take advantage of them, they are at your disposal and will allow you to have the most appropriate way to establish dialogue.
8. Social Media
At the moment, we communicate mainly via social media. These channels hold the most important part of the information, as they increase impact through high virality, and above all are on the lookout for journalists and bloggers. Do not hesitate to use them internally, they are precious.
As we saw with the November 2015 attacks in Paris, every Internet user reported “safe” on Facebook, if they were safe. A faster and more efficient way to get the information.
9. Always on alert
It always comes back to monitoring information. This and its credibility are the dominant issues in a crisis situation. To protect yourself from misinformation that could be circulating, check your brand awareness and correct it if necessary. The important thing is not to let a dangerous situation set in. By being on alert, you will prevent many high-risk situations and everything will be fine, not just in a crisis situation!
10. Don’t forget, breathe!
If you panic, stress, or are tense, it will be felt. And be sure that your crisis unit will not work well, but above all that your entire company will react in a similar way. If you control yourself, if you are calm and reassuring, your department, your team, or anyone else around you, will come closer to your state of mind. In addition, you will make much better decisions so take a deep breath, and live up to what you expect from yourself. No need to stress, just follow these steps.
The crisis situation is a difficulty only if you decide to do so! It is an opportunity to test your entire company and those who characterize it. But above all, to draw the necessary conclusions, to come out stronger! Nothing is eternal, so adopt the right attitude, and the right actions to emerge victorious from this crisis.
Your customers are on social media and are using them on a daily basis. It is important that we keep them engaged and connected to your brand so that you’re always their first option.
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