Jonathan Bernstein’s article “The 10 Steps of CrisisCommunication” outlines what he believes to be the key steps with which to approach the possibility or occurrence of a crisis situation. In order to ensure that an organization remains steady and in control, it needs to seriously consider the possibility of a threatening situation. What Bernstein focuses on heavily is the need for preparedness. Many institutions fall into the trap of considering themselves invulnerable and fail to establish a clear approach for times of crisis, which makes the vulnerable in the event that something does happen to the company.
Brian West’s article, “How Apple, KFC, Maserati Can DoBetter in PR Crises in China: Social Media, Distance from Company HQ and aPowerful Government are Big Challenges” deals with crisis communications in recent events in China, as foreign companies in China must be quick to deal with many rising issues. West outlines a number of communication suggestions to consider when dealing with crises in China.
With all the possible crisis situations that could happen, I suggest these top three suggestions to keep in mind when designing your company’s crisis communication strategy:
- Have a Plan - you must have a strategy to guide your approach to crisis situations and addressing the press.
- Be Active in Conversation on Social Media—with the prevalence of social media, it is important to consider the conversations that can accumulate on these interactive sites. It is much more effective to be responsive, even if it means stating that an investigation is still in progress.
- Be Your Own Media Source—generate your own press to show transparency and maintain connection with your audience.