From the federal government to local government, from higher education to basic education, crises seem to be the norm. These crises appear and disappear almost daily. Some may have lasting impact on our country while others are more localized in their effect.
From a crisis communication perspective, these are professionally interesting and present an opportunity for those of us in the field to rethink how we approach a crisis and how we can more effectively assist our clients during such difficult times.
Here are some basic tips I give to help them:
· Think about what can go wrong/Never underestimate the possibility of something going wrong. You may think a crisis can't happen to you, but it can…and probably will. You can't plan for every eventuality, but you can plan for the most common ones.
· Prepare a crisis response plan. The time to manage a crisis is before the crisis starts.
· Designate a spokesperson. One person speaking for the organization ensures that the message will be consistent and on point.
· Establish a relationship with media. This will enable them to know they can contact you when needed and that they can trust you.
· Have a good working relationship with everyone in your operation. One disgruntled employee can ruin all of your other efforts during a crisis.
· Ask advice from others who have been through it. More than likely someone, somewhere has gone through what you’re going through.
Most of all, remember that a crisis is an opportunity to show what your values are and to show the true heart of your organization.