Don’t Panic! Here Are The Top Crisis Communications Strategies

From large corporations to schools, government entities and even your friendly, neighborhood ice cream shop, every organization – large and small – will undoubtedly experience a crisis at one time or another.

 

And while every situation is different, one thing remains the same – the decisions you make regarding crisis communications will either help your company ride out the chaotic roller coaster or, if you’re not careful, cause lasting damage to your brand.

 

Following the crisis communications strategies listed below could help you protect your organization during a difficult time.

 

Preparation is Key

While it’s impossible to know exactly when a crisis will strike, it’s important to anticipate and plan for potential crises.

 

The best way to prepare is to create a detailed plan outlining every possible crisis – everything from running out of ice cream on a hot, summer day to the building burning down – and the best possible response for each situation.

 

One of the biggest challenges companies face during a crisis is having too many cooks in the kitchen. The crisis communications plan should specify who will make final decisions on messaging, who will be the media spokesperson and who needs to be looped into all crisis communications discussions.

 

Accuracy and Speed

At Dittoe PR, we consider accuracy and speed to be two of the main ingredients in crisis preparedness – and while both are important, the two can sometimes create a confusing balancing act.

 

In the case of a major crisis, it is incredibly important to act quickly to stay ahead of the media and response from target audiences. However, that does not mean you should hastily share information or whip up a media statement too quickly.

 

Our recommendation? Face the crisis head on, only sharing accurate and factual information. If you are unsure of how the fire started, avoid speculation at all costs. Instead, share what you DO know. Avoiding the media during a crisis is often the biggest mistake a company can make, as it creates unnecessary rumors and spreads confusing messages.

 

Company transparency

During a crisis, it’s sometimes easy to forget about your employees while trying to communicate with the media, law enforcement, investors and everyone else on your list. However, neglecting employees could be harmful to your company’s internal well-being.

 

Oftentimes, employees catch on to crisis situations even if the company has not shared information and updates. Company morale can quickly diminish if employees think something is wrong, but are not receiving informational updates. Instead, the organization should always make sure to share the most up-to-date information with all employees to keep everyone in the know.

 

In the event of a crisis, the CEO and the executive team must consider the company’s employees as another constituency to respect and inform. This is particularly helpful should an employee want to discuss the company’s situation with others, on social media or even with the media. You should prep employees on what’s appropriate to share with their own networks (and also what’s not).

 

In short, managing crisis communications is no easy task. However, it doesn’t have to be detrimental to your brand if you prepare, act quickly, share accurate information with the media and your employees, and most importantly, avoid panic!

 

Additionally, working with an experienced PR firm can ensure success before, during, and after a crisis occurs, as well as strongly increase the chances of making it through unscathed.

 

Think your company or brand could benefit from expert crisis communications? We’re happy to help!

Avoid Back to School Blues with Dittoe PR’s Fall Internship Program

Nothing rains on your sunny summer break more than stressing about an internship before you head back to school. Luckily we’re on the hunt for hard working interns to complete our team this Fall. If you’re interested in experiencing PR agency life and gaining real-world knowledge by working with bright and talented professionals, then Dittoe Public Relations may be the place for you! Please carefully review the internship description below.

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Requirements/Skills: Public relations interns will be actively enrolled in, or a recent graduate of, a university journalism, public relations, marketing, advertising or other related program. Current students will preferably have at least sophomore standing. The individual must demonstrate an understanding of basic media relations skills, solid writing skills, an ability to interact professionally with clients, attention to detail and good judgment.

A working knowledge of computers, as well as word processing and database management software is necessary. The public relations intern will be mentored by the intern director and will work closely with the firm’s account executives. Fall interns will work 20-40 hours per week. Prior relevant experience is preferred.

Responsibilities: We are looking for paid interns to work with us on a wide variety of client projects, including but not limited to:

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• Drafting basic public relations created content including news releases, fact sheets, media advisories, media pitches, client meeting summaries, status reports, social media posts and other materials as directed
• Carrying out special event planning activities and arrangements as outlined by the intern director
• Attending and participating in client meetings, media training sessions, presentations and brainstorming sessions as directed
• Assisting with the development, research and updating of media lists and other databases. Other tasks include database creation, data entry and update additions and corrections
• Assisting with administrative duties including sorting, collating, stuffing envelopes, mailings and other administrative functions as assigned
• Supporting the firm’s efforts by drafting client-ready materials and performing research activities
• Assisting firm staff with other client, business development and firm management projects as needed

To Apply: Please email a cover letter, resume and three varying writing samples to:

Britny Kalule, Senior Account Manager and Intern Director
britny [at] dittoepr [dot] com

No phone calls please. The deadline to apply is 5:00 PM EST on Friday, July 15.