ETIP #135

What does Crisis Communications really mean?

What does Crisis Communications really mean?

Crises are an inevitable cost of doing business, whether it’s a cruise ship fire, an outbreak of foodborne illness or some highly publicized litigation. However, when disaster strikes, many companies are left wondering: what do we do now?

The goal of public relations in a crisis – the purpose of “crisis communications” is: to get the story out of the headlines and to stop the hashtag from trending on Twitter. A crisis is not the time to try and push a company’s brand proposition or deploy some kind of marketing narrative.

Step one in this “Headline Strategy” is to offer the media full transparency and open access. You must avoid any perception that your company has something to hide, and that there is still a deeper story to pursue. Let the press have its one news cycle and move on.

The basic formula of crisis response is to communicate

  1. what you know
  2. how you are going to fix it
  3. why you should be trusted to follow through

These parts will work together more smoothly if your company has built up credibility during the good times. Reputation management is a year-round endeavor, and you should seek the help of crisis professionals before a crisis hits.