“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to lose it.” (Warren Buffet).
Even if there’s no cure-all method to remedy company crises, there are lessons to be heard. Listed below are a couple of general (one should always care about the context) steps that organizations can take to get away with scandal and successfully emerge out of one.
#1. Be prepared.
The crisis begins before there’s an issue. Be prepared to handle a catastrophe so that when it emerges, there is a well-balanced game plan and a good execution strategy. Being able to include for one to daily: know that you are and acknowledge your (and your business’s) strength & weaknesses, keep good internal communication — your very first target audience might become your collaborator -, have a plan of attack, monitor the trends and determine exactly who’s responsible for the listening.
TIPS: whenever a tragedy strikes, you’d better have the right reputation and crisis team by your side. It sounds clear, but let’s say it anyway, all message development should involve both Legal and PR as a single team instead of two distinct entities.
#2. Empower your employees and advocates.
In times of catastrophe, organizations should think about ” workers firsts ” moto.
TIPS: preparing your employees well in advance can help you avoid rogue responses during a crisis.
#3. Genuinely pick the spokesperson.
It means: don’t always put the CEO/Chairman out there. Depending on the crisis that could directly involve the CEO/Chairman. More often it is different. Figure out if the mess was big enough for the CEO to be the spokesperson, or if you have another man better satisfied, nicely media-trained and closer to the circumstance.
TIPS: Never say “any remark.” By saying nothing, you’re saying something.
You have to get the story. Always.
#4. Own up to it with compassion and take accountability for this.
In the present age, you can no longer not take responsibility for something. If you or your company face a catastrophe, do not have any other choice than own up to your problems and confront the reality of your situation. As Veronique Reille Soult states, “it is important to admit the situation and take full responsibility for the error first,” then act decisively to begin to remedy the situation, and have set up a strategy to rehabilitate the brand.
TIPS: Be honest and transparent.
An old maxim says that “when you are explaining, you’re losing.” There’s nothing more incorrect than this announcement when something has gone wrong on your organization. The explanation is an essential measure to re-establish credibility. All of your stakeholder, from your collaborators to theatres, together with partners and investors need clarification.
TIPS: You should conduct an independent evaluation to answer the questions that arise.
#6. Do it.
Apologies are not valuable unless they are backed up by actions.
TIPS: Just do it, do it!
#7. Do not forget the reminder.
Following a crisis situation, if well handled, it might be suitable to (only if it is the case): 1/ provide a subtle reminder that for more than the company got it right, and 2/ remind your stakeholders which via your company has come through a challenging time, it’s still worthy of trust.
TIPS: Pay always and frequently in your relationships with all your stakeholders.
#8. Show respect to colleagues’ jobs.
The job of journalists is to collect, check, select, synthesize and remark on facts to independently notify the public via a particular media. ” When reporters call about a story they are working on; it is very likely that (…) the story is already set up once you get that call. The longer it takes you to put some response together, that just provides the reporter more time to find a whole lot of additional information that fits the narrative that they’ve sold [to their editor] “correctly resume Judy Smith. Therefore, while it might be challenging to deal concurrently with a variety of stakeholders requirements, media request and approval levels at the same time, it’s crucial that you meet colleagues deadlines as best as possible.
TIPS: respect colleagues’ jobs and do yours :
“tell your story, tell it as quickly as asked and tell it all.”
#9. Remember social media to assess the crisis.
The virality brought by social networks is a substantial challenge for new crisis management procedures. Today, as detected by Thierry Libaert, ” with social media, what is said about the catastrophe becomes more important than the crisis itself, and catastrophe management appears to be reduced today based on some, to the direction of social media.” However, when you play it right, social media could be ” friendly” So, work out the messages. Pick the best medium to send those messages. Remember that you can’t seriously manage the emergency by sending 10-15 tweets.
TIPS: Stay focus.
Lousy buzz shouldn’t distract you from the bigger picture.
#10. The Follow-Up.
In the wake of a catastrophe, monitor results, establish takeaways, fix your protocols and measurements for the future. Bear in mind, communication lessons learned from errors is essential. The excellent effort of Samsung after the remember of Galaxy Note 7 is a good example.
TIPS: There is always an opportunity for a catastrophe. Find yours.