Written By: Michelle Abrams
Most companies think they are prepared to deal with a crisis. However, in the past two years many industries suffered terrible losses due to COVID-19 and we have witnessed how an unexpected situation can remarkably affect a business. HJ-PR intern, Michelle, outlines three key phases to deal successfully with a crisis.
1. You need to have a plan. Companies that have an established plan tend to respond to crises quicker, reduce the caused damage and recover successfully. Make a list of expected and unexpected crises your organization might encounter and start establishing strategic plans that specify each step that needs to be followed. In these plans, make sure to select a leader, a team with specific tasks to follow and a strategy to keep continuity along the company’s groups to guarantee the plan is integrated throughout all its different departments.
2. Investigate all aspects of the crisis. It is essential to investigate all aspects of the crisis. Make your team an expert in the subject to make sure you know what kind of situation you are dealing with. Create materials that can be used throughout different communication platforms and make sure to listen to the audience to understand the problem from their perspective.
3. Communication is key. When a crisis takes place, it is necessary to be honest at all times and provide open, genuine and factual communication to ensure trust and reduce speculations. Be empathetic and sincere. Also, it is imperative to be persistent with communication. Communicate with stakeholders what is happening at all times, even if it is not significant. If you stop communicating, it can be misinterpreted as not caring for the organization.
Crises occur unexpectedly and can alter a business’ operations negatively in only a matter of minutes. Businesses that prepare, investigate and communicate will have an easier time dealing with crises while minimizing damages, strengthening business relationships and knowing what their business stands for.