Nobody wants to a crisis to engulf their brand – but if one happens, it’s best to have some great crisis communications plans prepared.
A crisis is any event which threatens to significantly disrupt your activity or your reputation. At one end of the scale, we have the VW Emissions Scandal or Southwest Airlines assaulting a passenger to get him off a plane.
At the other end of the spectrum, a fire/flood might put your HQ out of action or an accidental CC rather than BCC of email addresses might share confidential customer details, leading to significant backlash.
Doing the right thing at the right time can be the difference between a temporary inconvenience and a brand-crushing saga of media attention and customer revolt which threatens the very survival of your organisation.
Using my experience of leading in a variety of high pressure crisis environments, I will work with you to create a reliable crisis communications plan to ensure that if the worst happens, you have a ready-made framework to build on.
- Document potential risks and their likelihood of occurring
- Identify key stakeholders and influencers (including the media, local organisations, community groups or significant individuals)
- Identify key partners relating to potential risks
- Develop contingency plans for your in-house communications team to use
- Define and document communication cascade systems
- Create spokesperson protocols (including social media)
- Create clear guidelines on internal and external messaging
Most recently, I led the crisis communications response (internal & external communications, national/international media handling, stakeholder development) for Adur & Worthing Councils following the tragedy at 2015’s Shoreham Air Show. I’ve put some of the headline details in this case study – if you would like to know more, please ask.
*Disclaimer – at the time of writing, Adur District Council is a client of mine as I’m continuing to work on elements of the response to the Shoreham Air Show tragedy.