Crisis Communications 101: Everything You Need to Know
Is your company prepared should a PR crisis hit you today or tomorrow? According to Deloitte, 76% of board members believe their companies would respond appropriately if a crisis struck. Yet, only 49% of them say their companies engage in monitoring to identify and avert a crisis. Another 49% say they have a playbook to deal with different crisis scenarios yet only 32% train their employees in crisis simulations.
This paints an unprepared scenario because these companies have no confidence that their crisis communication would suffice in the face of an actual crisis.
What should you do to stay prepared?
First, you need cutting-edge communication techology, systems, and protocols that will help you defend your reputation in the face of a cyber-attack, natural disaster, malfeasance, or PR attack.
AAERO has the means to prepare you for the crisis before it happens, guide you out of the crisis, and ensure you build back your reputation after a crisis.
How Crisis Management Works
Crisis management was made to protect your business from a crisis or reduce the impact after a crisis. Effective crisis management handles the threats sequentially by ensuring that responsible staff communicates effectively among themselves, exchanging info that enables you to correct the situation, protect clientele, staff, and assets and ensure your business walks out of the situation.
How AAERO Supports Your Crisis Management Needs
There is no standard way to any PR crisis management. Every situation is unique. With this in mind, we consult with organizations to spot likely threats and develop tactics for addressing those threats while monitoring the results over time.
In crisis management, prevention involves the intentional reduction of potential and known risks that could plunge you into a crisis.
You’ll need to have a crisis management plan and training for the crisis management team on what a crisis looks like.
AAERO will support your organization in the follow ways:
- Testing activities that will help you assess whether your team and the plan are fireproof.
- Should you go through a year without having a crisis, we’ll update the plan yearly depending on the results of our monitoring.
- We’ll also draft crisis messages for you and templates for writing crisis statements. These include statements for the executive to make or release to news media.
During the Crisis: AAERO Guided Crisis Response
Crisis response is what you do and say after the crisis strikes. Crisis PR communications helps draft messages to send out to clientele, customers, and those associated with the organization in one way or another. Your initial response should be quick, accurate, and consistent.
Being quick is not as simple as it sounds. If you’re to give a statement within the first hour, it would be hectic and full of pressure if you’re not a PR expert. That’s where our pre-prepared templates and messages come in.
Being quick is about meeting the need to tell your side of the story. These go back to what your business wants to say about the crisis to your stakeholders. People will instantly want to know what happened. You need to talk to the media before everybody else. If you don’t, other people with inaccurate or highly biased info will and make the crisis worse.
A quick response shows you’re in control. Websites and social media can help you to provide a quick response. AAERO’s prepared messages help you deal with the information vacuum firsthand. Here are more ways our crisis PR communications help you.
- Achieve consistency by keeping spokespersons informed about crisis events and key message points you’ve been communicating.
- Use every communication avenue available to reach as many people as possible.
- Express concern for those inconvenienced or hurt by the crisis
- Include all employees in the initial response especially for both small and big companies.
Once the dust starts settling, it’s time to assess your brand’s image. The easiest way is to check incoming and outgoing communication. It will help you understand what audiences are saying and the prevailing notions. Your job is to address and follow up on the concerns raised on these platforms.
It’s also time to assess how you handled the situation against the level of preparedness you believed you had. Talk about what should have or have not been done and see points to remember for future crises.
Proper reputation management focuses on credibility recovery post-crisis. It’s about shifting the conversation from negative to positive news about your business.
AAERO crisis communications help you communicate empathetically as opposed to defensively. The idea is to address your audiences as people and not just clientele. It is designed to show your human side and that you care that someone got hurt because of your business.
AAERO crisis PR also focuses on the most overlooked aspects of reputation management. These are the loyal clientele and publics who remain unchanged even after a crisis. Messages meant for these publics focus on decisions to engage them as a resource in putting the matter to rest. Here are more ways that AAERO helps your business post-crisis and reputation recovery.
- 1. Identify the purpose of your plan. Are you handling an ongoing crisis, repairing your reputation, keep your business from losing more clients, etc.?We’ll help you identify the most pressing issue and create a communications plan tailored to it.
- Preparing a statement. Often, sending a statement without guidance from PR crisis teams breeds inconsistencies and emotionally charged responses. It works like adding fuel to the fire. A well-crafted message suits your specific scenario. We’ll also advise on the best platforms depending on the audience.
- 3. Plan for future events. Although bitter and unwelcome, crisis gives you info on what not to do next time. This will also inform upgrades to crisis communication plans. It’s also time to draft a statement that communicates what your company will do to prevent a repeat of the crisis. These statements are geared to instill confidence in your publics that you plan to do better and have put measures that will ensure you keep your promise.
Most importantly, throughout this process, we’ll keep you from putting your foot in your mouth. We’ll keep the focus on taking responsibility, not engaging in blame games. It’s not about admitting fault when you’re innocent but showing a strong leadership quality for the sake of your brand.
How to Stay Prepared for a Crisis
At AAERO, we are a team of relationship-oriented PR experts who thrive on creating solutions for our clientele wherever and whenever they need them. Contact us today to get any of our services. We’ll be happy to help.