Southwest Airlines' Press Room
Crisis Communications is more of an art than a science, because each crisis is unique. But there are general rules for responding to a crisis that really don't change.
Take Southwest Airlines, which has had to cancel hundreds of flights after a hole opened in one of its plane's fuselage during flight. As investigators check Southwest's fleet, the airline has posted several press releases on its site and has updated its Twitter and Facebook pages multiple times since the crisis began.
It's a vivid reminder of why it's important to have a clearly defined press room on your web site. The ability to post even quick updates helps you to get important information to the media and the public. The story also reminds us of the value of social media to communicate directly with customers or, in the case of Southwest, passengers.
A second benefit is to be able to see what others are saying about you so that you can respond if necessary. Customer comments have been largely positive about Southwest's handling of the crisis.
When a crisis hits, the first response is to head for the bunker. No one likes dealing with bad news, especially if it's your own.
But very often, the public will remember how you responded to the crisis long after the triggering event. That's why it's important to be able to have a crisis communications plan and the ability to get news and information out quickly.