Like it or not, there will be a time, probably when you least expect it, that a crisis hits, seriously affecting you, your business and those who work for you.
No industry is immune; and whatever the field, all are equally at risk of suffering the unexpected and potentially devastating consequences.
Whether it’s a fire or flood, or perhaps something involving one of your members of staff, a crisis can suddenly put you in the media spotlight and if you’re not prepared could lead to long-lasting damage.
If you haven’t had the benefit of expert media crisis training you could well find yourself spiralling out of control when those around you need you the most.
So what do you do when a crisis hits and you find yourself in the eye of the media storm?
If a crisis hits and reporters are calling you and your colleagues, it’s vital that you follow this basic advice:
Acknowledge each request with professionalism and openness by thanking them for giving you the opportunity to share more information about what happened, while also being grateful for the chance to respond to questions.
Explain that you are only able to give the facts you have to hand right now and when you expect to know more, while explaining that you hope to have a statement for them before the end of the day.
Assume that everything you say is on the record and resist the temptation to tell a reporter details that you may not wish to be public. While most journalists will honour your wishes when it comes to confidentiality, it’s always best not to take any risks.
Ever speculate when asked about a crisis as, in a developing situation, you should avoid making statements that may prove to be untrue or overpromising as this could come back to haunt you at a later date.
Answer any questions you are not in a position to do so. Reporters will push for answers and the hardest ones to give may be those to tricky questions. So even if you know the answer, if you’re not ready to give it or you need to vet it further with your team, don’t be afraid to say no.
Be tempted to ignore the media; hoping the problem will pass the press by. This is an extremely dangerous tactic as the media will likely write the story anyway, but by being engaged with them you can tell your side of it.
TALK TO A CRISIS MEDIA SPECIALIST
The smart advice is to call upon the services of someone who has done this kind of thing before and understands the pressures, challenges and strategies required to achieve the best outcome.
By doing this, you can take the correct steps to lay the right groundwork for media interactions that will show your company in a light as positive as possible.
Coconut Communications can guide you through this difficult period or train you to help prepare for it in the future in a highly effective way via video conference.
This includes recording interviews, playback and review all via your laptop or tablet as our video conference training allows us to deliver crisis media management directly to you – wherever you are.