(Thanks to our Detroit PR partner, Bianchi Public Relations)
Identify potential risk situations and their impact
- Issues / incidents that are likely
- Audiences that will be most impacted
- Severity and key concerns of potential impact
- Anticipate most difficult questions
Identify your crisis team and responsibilities
- Who will be on team? HR, Legal, Communications, CEO, others?
- Create an internal quick-contact list
- Arrange how the crisis team will communicate and how often
- Plan spokespeople for various situations
Develop a strategy that conveys authenticity, transparency and sensitivity around:
- Your company’s overall goals, employees, stakeholders
- Your communications channels
- Messaging that is consistent with sensitivity to the crisis
Create your communications materials
- Prepare a statement incorporating core corporate messages; modify during the crisis as needed
- Prepare company fact sheets
- Create a living Q&A about what is known and unknown for consistency across the organization
- Other needs: employee communications, website content, social media posts and how to respond, community/stakeholder letters
Media train your spokespeople on those key messages
- Know what to say – create approved key messages
- Know how to say it – confidently and with empathy
- Give short, factual answers
- Do not speculate
- Confirm next steps, when updated information may be available
Anticipate the news cycle
- How might the situation play out in the media?
- What is the worst-case scenario in terms of media coverage?
- Monitor coverage, online reader comments and social media comments to determine next steps
- Designate a single point of contact for media inquiries; direct all staff to that contact
- Identify specific media outlets, reporters and channels for this situation
- Consider scope – local, statewide or national/international impact?
- Keep media informed as events unfold; follow-up with media as promised
Remember to be pro-active, not reactive
- Don’t delay responses in hopes that you will have more answers later
- Avoiding commenting implies you are hiding something
- It’s fine to say what you know and explain what you don’t yet know
- Media work around the clock 24/7/365, even if you don’t; their calls can come anytime
- If you don’t control the narrative, someone else will
For a free one-hour LCI consultation, please contact: Ms. Brianne Murphy Miller, (650) 575-7727 or [email protected].