Professional PR Crisis Management
When they hear “crisis management,” most people think of a random negative event that happens suddenly and without warning, like a lightning strike of bad PR. Professional crisis management is seen as a reactive discipline in the wake of an all-hands-on-deck business emergency.
But good crisis management is really risk management. The truth is, most crisis events can be anticipated, and the most effective handling of a risky situation lies in anticipating and planning for that seemingly random event or happening.
History shows that many reputational threats for business grow out of foreseeable problems. They’re often escalations of simmering situations left unattended, brushed aside, or concealed. According to a study by the Institute for Crisis Management, 65 percent of business crises from 1990-2009 were what the ICM terms “smoldering,” or rooted in the past, as opposed to truly sudden events. Product defects, customer or employee litigation, workplace misconduct, and many other happenings are at least theoretically foreseeable and almost always preceded by warning signs.
Issues Management PR Can Help Head Off A Crisis
At Crenshaw Communications, we can help clients identify their top reputational threats, plan for the most likely scenarios, and develop a bulletproof response and internal communications process in the event of a true crisis event.
There’s no true blueprint for handling a crisis, and it’s a myth that you can be 100% prepared for everything. Our process, however, does follow certain assumptions and principles.
Crisis prevention beats crisis management. You probably already know the risks and the most likely crisis situations. If not, a reputation audit will uncover them, and preventive steps may be taken.
Preparation must be continuous. The key to a relevant crisis management plan is regular updating and review. We recommend that the most likely scenarios, messages, and response be reviewed at least quarterly.
A fast response is critical. In the 24/7 media environment, there is no time for management by consensus or a chain of content approval. We recommend a rapid-response process that enables a professional response to a crisis within 24-48 hours at most.
For many clients, crisis management and reputation management go hand-in-hand. You can learn more about our services in crisis and corporate communications program and the relationship by visiting those pages.