Recently we attended the Public Relations Society of America Chicago(PRSA) monthly
luncheon about crisis communications. The panel of seasoned professionals provided many tips and insights from personal experience about surviving and navigating a crisis, and was a great reminder to dust off the crisis plan and be prepared for the next time you need it.
Have a Plan
The most important reminder for every company is to have a crisis communications plan. One panelist shared her stories of evacuating more than 2,000 individuals to safety during Hurricanes Irma and Maria, where she noted a plan is “a valuable starting point,” and an important roadmap to know and determine who does what.
While social media can sometimes seem like a deadly trap for negative news to go viral, it is a perfect platform for providing a quick response when you are ready to spread the word.
Social media is important for sharing news, and monitoring for updates – including from those affected directly by the crisis. It can also be a great tool to share a brief statement so media can easily find it, as was the case for those leading efforts after the Manchester arena tragedy.
In the event of a crisis, the media will ask for a statement. While a speedy response may feel imperative, it is invaluable to provide accurate information. Trust yourselves, and the organization, to find the correct information before sharing something that might be inaccurate.