T.O.W 13

After this week’s discussion on public relations during times of crisis, I really got a grasp for how important it is to know how to handle a crisis when it arises. Something that stuck out to me was the importance of planning and being prepared for a crisis. Being prepared doesn’t mean that a crisis will happen, but that you’re ready for anything that should arise. Planning for a crisis helps reduce stress for everyone involved. Another thing that planning helps is the flow of communication, if everything is discussed and everyone is on the same page there won’t be more surprises or problems if a crisis should occur.  Planning also shows goodwill and business continuity as well as involves stakeholders.

This week I also learned that in planning it’s important to have a crisis communication kit.  This kit includes a list of members in the  crisis management team, contact information for key officers and spokes people. It also should include fact sheets on the company and profiles and biographies for each key manager.  The last three things that you need in your kit are copies of logos, press release format, ect., pre-written scripts answering questions, and finally contact information for your key figures.

Being prepared is key. But I learned that being prepared and knowing exactly what you can do if a crisis arises doesn’t mean you’re pessimistic, but are responsible and ready for anything.

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2 Responses to T.O.W 13

  1. creativa410 says:

    Very true, it is always a good idea to be prepared for anything in the event of crises. I think that one of the best things any public relations professionals can do in the event of a crisis though, is to communicate clearly and honestly exactly what is going on. Whenever there is a crisis, there will undoubtedly be rumors going around (and rumors spread fast!).

    By communicating honestly, companies will be able to keep the trust of their customers. Companies that act like the have something to hide in the event of a crisis, are the most likely to suffer long-term damage from that crisis. There are so many examples of this throughout history:

    -The Chicago Tylenol poisonings in 1982 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Tylenol_murders)

    -The incident at Wendy’s in 2005 when someone found a finger in their chili (http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Category:Chili_Finger_Incident)

    -The Syringe Scare Diet Pepsi faced in 1995 when someone claimed to have found a syringe in a can of Diet (http://www.icmrindia.org/casestudies/catalogue/marketing%20communications/CLMC039.htm)

    There are lots of other examples where companies who were prepared with a media crisis plan communicated honestly and openly, and are therefore still trusted companies and brands today.

    Thanks for the great post!

  2. Pingback: Blog Comments « Lisa McLaughlin

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