Large or small, your business needs a crisis management plan. Because, I’ll be brutally honest – it’s not IF it happens, it’s WHEN! What you need, is a crisis management guide.
US actor and filmmaker, Sylvester Stallone, said, “That’s what Rocky is all about: pride, reputation, and not being another bum in the neighborhood.”
Never thought I’d sneak a Sly quote into a post, but his statement is bang on the nose.
To protect your hard-earned reputation, to avoid being another bum in the neighborhood, you need to check out this knock-out crisis management guide.
What is crisis management?
Crisis management is all about prepared and rehearsed scenarios that will help you tackle a sudden and potentially damaging situation. A growing number of brands do realise the importance of having a crisis plan, according to communications services company Burson-Marsteller, only 51% have one. With only a third believing their plan will work.
A negative comment on Facebook, trashing your brand. A tweet slamming your customer support team, that’s escalating into a reputation-wrecking Twitter storm. Both denting the reputation of your brand, both needing crisis management.
Your crisis management plan
Your reaction has to be super-fast to minimize damage to your brand. Your crisis plan should include more than just a scheduled press conference – in the online world we now live in, a comprehensive crisis plan must cover social media, internal comms, supply chains, vendors, and the press.
Best practices include:
- Risks you think could threaten your brand or company
- Social listening technology – such as Talkwalker – to detect and monitor early warning signs of crises
- Building and briefing the crisis management team
- An outline of response and resolve tactics
- Established levels of responses, depending on the strength of the crisis
Crisis management guide
Take a look at my crisis management guide explaining before, during, and after a crisis. It includes checklists, templates, and real-life examples of crisis management practices. It’s divided into the three stages surrounding a crisis:
Before the crisis
- Choosing your crisis team
- Giving access to your social media account
- Choosing the right tools
- Putting your crisis plan to the test
During the crisis
- What you should be monitoring
- Warning signals to look out for
- Being transparent, being honest
- Identifying the type of crisis
- Escalating and responding
After the crisis
- Real-life brands demonstrate crisis management best practice
- Summing up
We all make mistakes.
If you have a strong crisis management plan in place, you’ll be ready to face a crisis head on. Protect your company against reputational risks, strengthen trust and loyalty in your brand, and build up engagement with your audience.