Crisis Communications: Are you Prepared?
I believe that Shaun O’Callaghan has it right when he defines a crisis in his book, “Turnaround Leadership.” To him it is when a key stakeholder changes his/her view on an important assumption they are making about your business; or when you as a business fail to deliver on one of your promises.” He adds that you know you have a crisis if it costs you money, time and resources.
We face crises every day in business, and even in our daily lives. The decisions we make allow our crisis of the moment to dissipate or grow in magnitude until something has to be done. By taking steps before a crisis occurs, you can avoid the consequences of a long lasting, expensive situation.
Ask yourself if you are ready for a crisis. Are you doing all you can to keep your stakeholders satisfied? Have you created a plan in case you don’t? Are you trained to handle a crisis situation? Are you trained to talk to the media?
It appears that more and more organizations are taking the time to prepare for a crisis in whatever form it arrives at their doorstep. The investment cost is small when you consider what you may be saving on the other side.
The first step is to do all that you can to avoid a crisis. How do you handle complaints? How do you handle social media? How do you work with the media? How do you communicate with your employees?
So, what’s your organization’s promise? How do you know that you are keeping the promises you make? This is a good place to start.