Crises are Inevitable. The likelihood that a highly threatening, unexpected event will hit your business has never been higher. In a survey conducted by PwC of 164 CEO’s worldwide, 65 percent of respondents reported experiencing at least one crisis since 2013, and 15 percent had experienced five or more.
A crisis communications plan is a crucial component of any disaster plan. It can act as a guide to help you quickly contain the crisis and recover from its impact. Whether it’s a weather disaster, a highly publicized lawsuit or a lousy product review, your reaction should be immediate, focused and emphatic.
When your reputation is on the line, it’s how you respond to the crisis, the incorporation of all facets of marketing and communication, and the overall strength of your Public Relations that determine whether your brand’s image will recover.
Crisis Communications: Lessons Learned from Horror Films
When disaster strikes, you must act fast to stay in front of the crisis and to stay alive. Here are a few lessons learned from horror films:
•Silence is Deadly. During a crisis, silence is often mistaken as guilt and gives critics something to talk about. You can’t outrun the boogeyman, and you can’t outrun a crisis. The key is to stay in front of the issue. Communicate with the public, cooperate with the media. Let them know what happened and what measures you have in place to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
•Don’t Wear a Mask. Wearing a mask makes you look suspicious. During a crisis, you need to be honest and transparent. Leave the cover for Trick-or-Treat.
•Prepare for a Re-Make. A crisis is devastating, but it doesn’t have to signify the end. It can be an opportunity, but that takes tenacity and a strategic public relations plan. It’s best to work with an expert who can help you write the script.
Denise Blackburn-Gay, APR, Fellow PRSA, President of Marketing Strategies, Inc. is one of two PR professionals in the state of South Carolina to be certified by the Public Relations Society of America in Crisis Communication and Reputation Management. Denise and her team have counseled clients on surviving a crisis while maintaining their greatest asset-their reputation.
Call Marketing Strategies, Inc. today to schedule a Risk Assessment Audit.