Managing crisis communications can be a tremendous challenge. In part one of this series, we looked at what you need to do to prepare for a crisis. Our second segment looks at what you need to keep in mind during a crisis.
Consider these Musts when a crisis is underway:
Implement the crisis communication plan you put in place before the crisis. Make sure key decision makers are alerted and staff are ready to handle whatever comes your way.
Reach out to key media contacts and utilize social media to update the situation as well as monitor what's being said about the crisis. When the power went out during Hurricane Sandy, many storm victims relied on mobile devices to keep abreast of the latest developments.
Acknowledge what's wrong
Many crises have been made worse when an organization denies the obvious or tries to downplay the event. This does not mean to speculate on things you don't know or issue premature assessments. It does mean you need to convey truth and accuracy so that the public or your customers understand that you are taking the situation seriously.
Avoid the blame game
It's easy to start pointing fingers and throw others under the bus. Blaming not only looks weak or petty, but takes the focus off of trying to deal with the crisis. First, take care of the problem. There's plenty of time to assess what went wrong.
What's at stake? Your credibility. Remember, as bad as the crisis may be, you will be remembered more for how you responded than to the crisis itself.
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