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Crisis Communication

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Courtney Smallwood

on 23 September 2014

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Transcript of Crisis Communication

Avoiding the PR Crash:
How communication can work in an accident crisis
A driver for your company calls...there's been an accident
The Boy Scouts have it right.
Be Prepared.
Crisis Plan
• Scenarios of potential crisis events.

• Who should be contacted immediately? If they are not available who do you turn to?

• Emergency contact numbers for anybody that should be contacted.

• A policy on dealing with the media during a crisis. Who will be the primary spokesman?

• How to communicate to various public entities and how will it be accomplished?

• How will the facility be secured and access granted?

• A general philosophy of management on dealing with a crisis.

• Who is the legal representation for the owner? Will they be available?

• Decisions will have to be made quickly. External perceptions are established almost immediately, and once they are in place, it is difficult to change them. Whether or not you gain control over the situation is determined within the first 24 hours.

• Options will be limited

• Poor, hasty decisions – as well as inaction – may produce undesirable consequences.

• Groups with conflicting objectives have to be dealt with.

• The owner will become directly involved.

Do's & Don'ts
Press Kit:
Company background
Photos and descriptions of your facilities
The annual report
Fact sheets
Descriptive pamphlets and general information
Executive biographies and photos
The official company statement

Emergency contact info
First steps
Secure the site with law enforcement
No discussion with emergency responders or media

Recovery & Evaluation
Points to Remember
1. No organization is immune to crisis.
2. Be honest.
3. Organizations that have an open communications policy are in a stronger position.
4. Internal communication IS AS important as external.
5. Share your crisis plan with departments in the organization.
6. Keep materials you are likely to need up-to-date and at your fingertips.
7. Be aware of the media's needs and how they are likely to react to your crisis.
8. Know that the media as well as members of the public may turn to outside parties as a source.

Must lead through example
Must be accessible to the media as well as everyone else
Must be decisive

Common Conditions
Top 3 Things
1. Be proactive in a reactive situation.
2. Keep all communication lines open from top to bottom.
3. Develop key messages and stick to them.
Full transcript