As all the world knowns, part of the Superdome went dark during the Superbowl. And the leaders and managers at organizations like yours began wondering what would happen if their own version of a “Superdome shut-down” took place. The first step in managing that kind of crisis – and it is a crisis – is to have your Crisis Communications Guide completed and continually up-t0-date.
In itself that plan restores a sense of order when bad things happen because everyone in the organization knows what to do, how, and when. Here are 6 tips from Image Marketing Consultants on putting that Guide together:
Define “crisis.” The freezer going off in a food establishment is a crisis. So is a choking guest. Another form of crisis is an unexpected snow storm which starts to roar outside as patrons are starting to eat. Listing examples of crisis reassures everyone in the organizaton that leadership is in control. Therefore there is trust in the process.
Indicate who’s in charge of what. In emergencies, human beings need leadership. Specify who’s accountable for what, in what order should they be notified, and the contact information.
Establish one spokesperson. All information should be given to that representative who is the only point for release of information. No one else should comment to anyone else.
Release information as soon as it is available and has been verified. Constituencies, ranging from the media to investors, will view you as credible if you ensure they receive accurate informaton as soon as you have it. Use all mediums for this real-time disclosure.
Be generous. When the electronic cash registers went down in a supermarket, that event had been provided for in the crisis plan. Check-out clerks had hand calculators and provided a percentage discount for the inconvenience.
Thank all constituencies. Acknowleging the role of others in resolving the crisis is a key public relations initiative. It creates the platform for cooperation during the next unexpected incident.
Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, provides complimentary consultations on all your communications and marketing needs, including public relations, partnerships, special events, and social media firstname.lastname@example.org, 203-404-4868.