Are you ready for a crisis?


Sep 06, 2016 • Tricia McKim • Blog

Crisis Communications

This month we’re kicking off a new blog series on crisis communications. When it comes to crises, it’s not a matter of if, but when an incident will occur. Every day I see a new crisis situation appear on the 10 p.m. news. You can spend years building up your company’s brand and reputation, and then in an instant a crisis can threaten all of these efforts. It’s for that reason that we all must prepare for crisis situations.

From a marketing perspective, a crisis is an opportunity for your communications to shine. Your organization will be in the spotlight and the way you handle the situation will shape your brand for years to come.

A crisis can take many forms, including:

  1. Deliberate corporate action crisis - actions that will have a direct effect on stakeholder audiences, such as acquisitions, layoffs, plant closings
  2. Smoldering crisis - actions that can develop into a full-blown crisis, such as shareholder threats, regulatory investigations, financial mismanagement
  3. National/international crisis - natural or man-made occurrences that threaten national security or international operations, such as an epidemic, terrorism, natural disasters
  4. Operational crisis - activities that effect day-to-day operations, such as fires, explosions, recalls, or technology failures

Knowing what crisis situations may impact your business, and conducting scenario planning for each possibility, goes a long way in helping you prepare for the eventuality of a crisis.

However, no matter the situation, communicating with honesty, authenticity and transparency is key. This month we’ll share tips for communicating in a crisis, building your crisis plan, and handling crisis communications in a social media era. Stay tuned to learn how to protect your brand reputation in the event a crisis befalls your organization.