Golden Rules for Crisis Management
Golden rules for crisis management
While every situation is different, there are some golden rules to follow. Here are a few key points but they are by no means a definitive guide.
o Never under estimate the situation. Prepare for the worst and you will handle the situation more effectively.
o Managing directors or their nominees should generally act as the key contact for any crisis.
o The crisis should be managed by a pre-agreed crisis management team. Each member must have clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
o Speed is crucial. Fast, effective communication is critical in a crisis but make sure you have the facts first. Don’t speculate.
o Information should be managed. It should be given to the minimum number of people necessary to handle the incident effectively, and to ensure that information is co-ordinated and consistent.
o Respond to every media enquiry. If you do not respond, then someone else, outside the firm, will provide the journalist with information anyway. The best way to get accurate coverage including the firm's position and point of view is for you to provide the information and comment yourself.
o Only the nominated, fully trained, fully briefed spokespeople should talk to the media.
o All statements must be constantly updated and be brief, informative, accurate and consistent. They should be cleared with your legal advisers.
o Show a human face. Show that you care and are prepared to take responsibility for the situation (and remember taking responsibility is not the same as admitting liability)!
Don’t put crisis management planning in the too-hard basket. You need to work with a public relations professional to ensure you have a workable plan should the need arise.
- John Durning, Durning PR, Public Relations and Media Advisers, (03) 365 2579, email: email@example.com; www.durning.co.nz