By Jeanne Albrecht – Director of Public Relations
Ask company executives who have not been through a major crisis what one is, and they may answer with a list of natural or manmade disasters: theft, layoffs, fire, accidents, lawsuits, floods, bankruptcy.
Ask executives who have lived through one and they probably will immediately answer: negative media attention and unsubstantiated rumors.
The negative public impressions from a crisis can be many times more damaging than the crisis itself.
Note the word “impressions.” If a company does its homework before a crisis, then the impressions it gives will be based on facts delivered by calm, credible, caring people.
The other option? If a company takes the “no comment” route or sends an unprepared person out to deal with the media with scattered messages, the media has no option than to speculate, find invalidated or angry sources for their story, and probably present the company as uncaring and unresponsive.
To avoid a crisis, you can develop a Crisis Communication Plan that will lessen the stress of delivering your negative news to your employees and the community, and minimize the danger to your company.
More next week on Blue Clover’s tips on Crisis Communication Plans.