What to do when dealing with a crisis

What to do when dealing with a crisis

Businesses big and small will, at some point, have to address a situation that requires a response to address a negative situation. A crisis. But often, there’s no plan in place to handle what can be a real reputation killer within public perception.

Twenty-years ago, when a crisis occurred, time was on your side, to a certain extent. Even without a plan, teams would assemble to try and figure out how best to address the situation. Instant communication was in its infancy, and things rolled a little slower. In order for people to hear of the problem, they’d need traditional media to report on it. Or word of mouth.

But there’s a new crisis sheriff in town. Social Media.

Let’s say you own a restaurant, and a customer finds that the meal they just ate was absolutely awful. This customer has 137,000 followers on X, 3,750 friends on Facebook, an Instagram account with 75,000 followers… You get where this is going. Before you can blink an eye, a post hits all social accounts slamming your restaurant, complete with photos of the plated food, which looks less than appealing. And with today’s traditional media following everything on social media, the double-edged sword just stabbed your reputation.

At that point, if you have to huddle the team to figure out how to turn this negative into a manageable positive, you’re dead in the water. A crisis communications plan to address both social and traditional media (and media communications), in today’s world, is more important than ever before.

Even the top companies and brands slip-up occasionally.

To err is human. To have a solid crisis communication plan is divine.

Smart Connections PR offers crisis communication training for individuals and groups, led by a team with decades of experience working with corporations, brands, and nonprofits on formulating crisis communications plans that are effective.