Imagine turning on the television and tuning into the news and your business is featured in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. It could be for any reason and it may not be something that you or your team have done wrong. Someone got sick and blamed your restaurant, a fugitive stayed in your hotel or an accident happened on your building site. Now you have negative press and you have to deal with the situation. Creating a crisis management plan is a must for any business especially in the digital age.
Your business’ reputation can be destroyed in an instant and any crisis can damage your business. You needs to be prepared for the worst. A situation that need crisis management can be anything from a legal dispute to fires and floods. The public doesn’t just judge you on the situation itself they will also judge you on how you handle the crisis in front of the cameras. Here is how you can manage a crisis effectively.
“He who hesitates is lost” and that is particularly true in this day and age. Don’t wait until disaster strikes to have a plan in place. Think about all of the possible worst case scenarios and have a backup plan in place. Get your management team together to share scenarios and ideas on how they should be handled.
A Crisis Can Take Any Shape
When we think of a crisis we tend to think big, but a crisis can take any form. It can be someone who is seriously hurt on your property or it can be a disgruntled employee who decides to take the grievance public on social media. Anything that attracts enough attention to damage your business needs to be handled by you and your team.
Develop a Plan for PR
Once a news story breaks it breaks quickly and you can have the media on your doorstep in a heartbeat. You need to think about the message you want to send to everyone you do business with, from suppliers to customers to staff. You need to get your side of the story out right away along with handling the communications internally. Designate people who will be in charge of that. Here is one expert’s opinion on how to handle a crisis.
Be Prepared to Speak with the Media
You may have to speak with an attorney first if there are any liability issues so plan with then what you will say. Always tell the truth and be concerned about the situation. Train your senior team how to deal with the media so that you are always prepared. The media can be ruthless they will try and get a story from anyone associated with your business and you need to be prepared for that.