The first step is always going to be making sure that you have a plan to deal with a potential crisis. This should be devised before a crisis emerges and you should have a team of individuals ready to go. Think about what you’re going to need. For instance, social media management will be essential when handling a crisis but you’ll also need to be able to interact with the press. So, you’re going to need a PR and marketing team to correct any damage so it doesn’t continue to hurt your bottom line.
Don’t Forget About Your Employees
You need to create a team of brand advocates that can act on behalf of your company during a crisis. It’s important that employees don’t start jumping ship or airing any dirty laundry. Instead, bring them onto the team to develop conversations and create a positive influence across their individual social media profiles.
Do Use Social Media To Your Advantage
There is an inclination to avoid social media when a scandal begins to develop. After all, it’s going to quickly become a hotbed for criticism, rumor and gossip. If you can handle this, then you can easily turn social media to your advantage. We’re not talking about going on the attack here or even setting up a defense. Instead, you need to use these networks to show you are helpful, co-ordinated and ready to address the issue head-on.
Don’t Try And Ignore The Issue
Do not stick your head in the sand. No comment is as good as an admission of guilt. Instead, you must have a voice and use it to maintain your brand and continue to work to resolve the situation. If you try to hide away, then it’ll only make your company look worse.
Do Your Research
You need to make sure that you know more than the journalists and the public asking you questions. While this might seem obvious, countless companies will put out a public statement before they have gathered all the facts. If you have to take a couple of days to get all the information about what caused the problem and the extent of the damage, it can still be worth it. Make sure that you aren’t rushing into the lion’s den with no shield.
Don’t Avoid Customer Concerns
Finally, make sure that you do not attack customers who are only after answers. You don’t want to come across as unsympathetic or even worse, ignorant. Instead, you need to understand the point of view of your customers and avoid taking a tone-deaf approach.
If your company is after more in-depth crisis management training, take a look at our range of crsis management training courses and get in touch with our team for more information or to book a place.