15 January 2012

How to Prepare for a Crisis

In recent years, courtesy of some interesting technical investigation, the public has feasted on capital and follies of brands ranging from Eurostar, FIFA, Dior and the FA - to name a few and in all cases at least one senior figure in each brand were confronted "the disappointment of career."
No brand - or individual - has never emerged from the intense media discussion financially better off, not only damage the reputation has been significant, the cost of corrective action is explosive.
While companies must consider in their plans to attack the media ...

Lack of awareness. Too often, companies forget to watch where they may be exposed - this can range from no provision in the personnel management of the presence of social media, ignoring the types of media exposure a major marketing campaign could cause or simply talking carelessly

Lack of planning. Among the few companies that have a contingency plan media, let alone have either tested or updated recently. The situation is worse to have invested in planning but fail to inform key personnel and not the complete management buy-in - the result is invariably the chaos and mixed messaging

"The buck stops here." Accept the chain of command in advance to everyone with an action plan. The worst example we have seen very a national office was when all set up just for the CEO of the group - which was based in another jurisdiction and was not aware of plans - to fly and begin to make against -instructions. The people who were perfectly capable of managing matters frozen because they were afraid of violating the directions above. The result was a bad situation much worse is

Get the voice right, dressed in the right way, saying the right things. It may be that the top executive wants to be the person to go to the camera, but it could be that it is not the right person. Carefully select the best person to talk about each topic and to invest in their training of media

Use the technology. When was the last time you had your office checked for bugs? This may sound fanciful, but much to the horror of the customer, we found them. In addition, your team-Comms on top of all the tools you could use? These are days of anti-recording options features pre-prepared microsites or hotline
Perfect harmony. You do not have policy on top of a crisis to ensure people understand the chain of command, and all external suppliers know they are expected to liaise with internal teams and external. We strongly recommend getting your PR and lawyers together and discuss how you want them to work well ahead of all issues

Media crisis management sounds always dramatic and costly - and facing an unforeseen crisis can be. However, in truth, the planning stage is quite simple and may be the best investment you made for your brand - and yourself.