Preparing a company for a client crisis is something that needs preparation and management to help staff respond in a professional and unified way to enforce a feeling of security with a brand. With breaking news and very important issues, crisis communications will help effectively organize communications through a specific channel to help stop any negative repercussions that may occur.
One of the most important aspects to a crisis communications plan is positioning the brand’s message to reinforce leadership and respond to messages with solutions, giving them a positive view in the public’s eye. A close second in priority is making sure that critical and sensitive information is distributed properly to members of media and the public.
The director of communications or sometimes the CEO will prepare for and manage communications during a crisis situation, which means all crises should be reported to that point person accordingly and immediately. There should be a chief spokesperson in charge of speaking with media and the public, in order to manage the release of information. Additionally, there should be a lead spokesperson managing responses and ensuring they are action-oriented, positive, responsive, and transparent. Timeliness of statements and responses are of utmost importance during a crisis, especially in these days where the news cycle is 24/7.
These days, a crisis unfolds not just in traditional media, but also on social media. LCI and its partner affiliate GroundFloor Media have developed a new software platform, the Online War Room, to help businesses train and prepare for such situations.
The Online War Room training session for social media replicates a crisis online in real time, and provides instruction and best-practices for handling via social media channels. Training sessions are customized for each client and are billed separately from regular fees.
Because a company’s reputation unfolds quickly via social media, it is critical to have experts in online and offline reputation management. LCI’s seasoned professionals know how to help contain a crisis and how to emphasize positive online reviews while mitigating the effects of negative online reviews.
Before going public, it is important that the crisis communication team and key staff create a plan of action for internal and external communications, determine lead roles, agree on responses and actions, write up a statement and/or press release (or agree that there will not be a statement) and contact partners and members when appropriate. Going public and evaluating crisis communications efforts after the fact are key tasks during this extremely important time. Hiring a PR company that has a professional background in creating and implementing crisis communications plans will help internal preparation, proper messaging, and brand management.
Landis Communication Inc.’s expert public relations consultants have provided strategic San Francisco crisis communications counsel for numerous clients throughout a broad spectrum of industries, including technology, retail, food and beverages, consumer technology, nonprofits, financial services, and real estate to name a few. For further information about our crisis communications expertise, please contact Sean Dowdall at [email protected] or David Landis at [email protected].