30 Jan Be Prepared, Be Very Prepared
Last night I was talking with a friend who also happens to be in PR and was reminded of how important it is to always be prepared for a crisis. When clients are typically mild-mannered we tend to forget about developing a crisis plan to keep on the back-burner just in case — which can really leave you in a lurch when the unexpected happens.
After some digging online I couldn’t really find an infographic that provided the information I was looking for. So, below I’ve outlined a few steps to stop and think through when stuff hits the fan.
IDENTIFY AND DEFINE
1. Listen – take a second to read and listen to what is happening and consider all parties affected.
2. Acknowledge the situation – develop key messages for each audience and remember that honesty is the best policy.
3. Take action – share your plan for making the mess go away.
SEEK AND DESTROY
1. Spread your news – use social channels and targeted press outreach to become the central information hub for information.
2. Rally the troops – inform partners, influencers and employees of the plan/message and trust them to be advocates.
3. Stick to the plan – make sure you deliver on promises, stay on message/brand, and continue business as usual, if possible.
MONITOR AND EVALUATE
1. Listen again – take stock of the tone of news stories, social posts and customer feedback.
2. Course correct – make changes to the plan of action if necessary.
3. Continue to monitor – but move on, the next big thing could be around the corner.
In that initial moment of panic, some people step up and provide a clear plan and others feel overwhelmed by the number of fires that need put out, but all of us could stand to take a step back and think for a minute before acting.
The next time you find yourself in that situation, take a look through this plan before you begin to act. It may just keep you out of the doghouse.