Company crises are like IRS Audits: no matter how much you don’t want to deal with it, you don’t really have much of a choice.
The truth of the matter is: things happen, and the aftermath of a disaster can effectively make or break the future of the affected company. Put simply, businesses need a crisis communication strategy.
Here are 10 Crisis Communications lessons from the award winning series Arrested Development.
Crises are generally unexpected. Develop a crisis communications plan ahead of time. Establish employee responsibilities and review regularly.
Internal communication should always come before making any type of statement. Disgruntled employees can turn a moderate issue into a major problem. No one likes to be left in the dark: keep everyone in the loop, establish protocol and keep spirits high.
Lesson 3: Don’t lie.
The most common mistake in the early stages of a crisis is stating something that later proves to be untrue or misleading. While a timely public response is important, it’s better to wait a few hours to draft an appropriate statement.
Lesson 4: Accept fault. Blaming others is not likely to help the situation.
Answer questions honestly. The public will usually forgive a mistake, but very rarely forgives an intentional cover-up. Another helpful hint? A little kindness can go a long way.
Don’t try to portray your company as something it’s not. People seek a genuine component in businesses now more than ever. Changing things up too much can lose the company’s identity in the process, as well as customers. If a re-brand is necessary, hire a professional.