Lessons from the Trenches: Crisis Management Behind the Scenes

by F+A Staff

March 19, 2015

Our years of experience in managing crises for clients have taught us that one thing’s for certain – it’s not a question of if, but when.

Every PR pro has their own methods for dealing with crises, and we fine-tune ours following each crisis we encounter. While every client crisis requires a tailored response, these best practices will help you keep your cool during any crisis:

  • Have a plan in place before the crisis hits. It may seem obvious, but we’ve encountered countless companies who had no semblance of one. While it’s impossible to predict exact scenarios, audits of potential threats and company weaknesses will help you to prepare for the worst and develop a plan to execute an adept and swift response.
  • Identity a single spokesperson and ensure they’re media-trained. When too many people become involved in the public-facing response to a crisis, the company’s message can become convoluted.
  • Coordinate messaging across the company. While it’s best to designate one employee as spokesperson, be prepared for the media or stakeholders to approach others within the company. Ensure that everyone’s armed with a response, even if it’s simply, “our CEO is better equipped to answer your questions.”
  • Make a commitment to transparency and hold your company accountable for its actions. Trying to skirt responsibility or cover up the truth instead of making sincere reforms will continue to harm a company’s reputation in the long-term.

Whether or not you’re managing your first big crisis, or your hundredth, these tips are universally applicable and will help you to mitigate the immense pressure that tends to descend during crisis.

F+A Staff
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