Murphy’s Law states, “If anything can go wrong, it will.” In business, being prepared for a crisis is a strategic tactic everyone must practice. A crisis is defined as anything that hinders your business, threatens to harm your organization, stakeholders or customers. A crisis can occur from natural or unnatural causes. It is important to know what to do and what not to do when a crisis strikes.
Communication is key in crisis management. Your customers, employees, their families and loved ones will want to know how the crisis will affect them. What you or your designated spokesperson says or doesn’t say essentially can have a big impact on your business.
Anything can happen in times of crisis so you need to be prepared. Plan for the worst-case scenario and create a crisis plan that will walk you and you business step-by-step through crisis. A crisis plan is a must have for any business. It contains everything you and your company will need to get through the crisis.
It is best to designate one speaker communicating on the crisis; this could be the PR specialist or CEO. If they are not trained in public speaking, prepare and have them practice how to speak in front of a news conference or on camera during an interview.
What not to do:
- Never place blame, pointing the finger away from you just makes you look guilty.
- Don’t deny the crisis exists if it clearly does.
- Don’t try to justify the damage done.
In times of a crisis, be honest, pay extra attention to your publics and answer any questions they have, stay positive and move forward the best your company can.