Crisis Communication and PR: Is Your Firm Ready?


Here are five points to help you develop a flexible crisis management plan because, without the ability to quickly mobilize the appropriate staff and other resources, the crisis can easily escalate beyond the level necessary. Here are my recommendations:

  1. Have listening and/or social media monitoring tools in place. These analytical instruments can provide critical information regarding how prospects, customers and the general public are reacting to and talking about your brands and/or company. It’s important to pay attention when the tone and content of the conversation changes. Scott recommends incorporating company data analysis that monitors the combination of social media activity with real time news and website and other company related volumes.
  2. Need to have the appropriate personnel plugged in across your organization. This group must work together as a team both internally and externally. This includes senior executives and their assistants, human resources, legal, marketing, customer services, PR or marketing communications, technology, website support, investor relations (if your firm is publically traded) and customer facing jobs like retail and sales. There must be a list of electronic as well as voice contact information, including off hours contact numbers.
  3. Create a process to enable people, especially senior management and PR, to react quickly regardless of the day and time since crises can happen on holidays or weekends. Further, there should be an understanding of how decisions will be made and whose approval is needed.
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