Crisis Management: When Every Minute Counts
To avoid serious damage to your reputation, keep in mind that everything is played in the first hours (maximum 24 hours) following the first signs of crisis. If the situation persists, you will certainly face much more serious problems. You must therefore ensure that your explanations or answers are to be found in the media as soon as possible.
Fortunately, you have done your homework and you are ready. When you consider the speed at which the media receives and transmits information, every minute counts.
Provide an answer swiftly, but above all respond effectively
You wake up one morning and your picture is on the front page of your favorite daily newspaper? Stay calm! Panic will not change anything at all.
KNOW THE FACTS
Make sure you know and understand the facts properly, otherwise identify the process you intend to follow to access those facts. In any case, when it comes to managing a crisis, you certainly get by now that it is highly beneficial to stick as much as possible to the facts.
There’s no need for an elaborated action plan, but you must have at your disposal a narrative that is specific to the audience you are addressing. This includes key messages, how you define your role and that of your competitors, all facts that support your position, as well as answers to the questions most likely to be asked. Finally, it is necessary to carefully choose the medium you want to use. If you choose traditional media, be specific on who exactly you want to talk to.
Reporters must meet very tight deadlines. Broadcasters also want to be first in releasing important information. As soon as your plan is ready, you must take action. Do not forget! The media cycle is becoming increasingly short.
REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT
Unless there is an entirely different turn of events, do not change your message! This leads to confusion, creates doubts about the veracity of your assertions and can even generate a new cycle of news!
THE STORM ALWAYS ENDS UP PASSING
Even if it seems endless, your crisis will not be of interest to the media nor the public for eternity. Take advantage of this involuntary moment of attention and consider it as an opportunity to make your point heard.