Doing business well means being ready to manage and protect your brand’s reputation through challenging times. The formation of crises can be sudden, or they can grow from a series of events and burn slowly. But the plotline of every crisis follows the same arc as a story: context, trigger, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution. With solid preparation, you can choose who gets to be the hero—and you take control of your own story. No matter the crisis, crisis communication is your strong and steadfast ally to see you to the other side.
Crisis communication is a powerful tool for businesses as they encounter challenging turning points at their doorstop or on their horizon. It blends five main communication components, each with their own strength and role to support business risk mitigation, preparation, crisis response and recovery.
AS WITH A REAL FIRE, THE CRISIS DIES WHEN YOU DENY IT FUEL, HEAT AND OXYGEN.
BUT LIKE REAL FIREFIGHTERS, YOU NEED TO BE TRAINED AND READY TO ACT.
Like all strategic business work, preparation is everything. Your crisis work doesn’t start when the crisis happens, or afterwards. It starts right now. Here’s a snapshot of our framework for successful crisis communications.
Create your playbook—plan everything out, including key issues and risks along with policies and procedures.
Put people first—get your relationships with media, stakeholders and external consultants right so you can launch into action when required.
Pub test—check your strategic comms with stakeholders beforehand to ensure your message aligns with values.
Practice ‘til it’s perfect— do crisis simulations, media training and practice until it hurts.
Above all, prepare well ahead to avoid the amygdala hijack that derails our ability to think clearly during a crisis.
A crisis is a living thing—a catalyst for change.
There’s a reason why the word ‘crisis’ carries a negative association. It’s because change, growth and learning can be uncomfortable. Managing a crisis well is an intensive learning exercise where the consequences are real, but the reputational capital created through it is remembered for a long time afterwards. Keep up the hard work of building your brand because you will emerge stronger than ever on the other side.
Don't have a communications plan to guide you through this crisis? Or you do have one and want to talk it through with a pro?
Book a free 30-minute chat with one of our senior strategists. We’ll listen to your organisation’s circumstances and give you personalised quick tips for nailing your communication now and in the future.