Monday, June 22, 2015
Crisis communication: Three simple but important tips
Make friends before you need them! Good and trustful relationships with your stakeholders are like a hard currency: Should things get wrong, they won't immediately drop you just like a hot potato. Media, customers, employees and the general public will show patience and trust the statements of a company which they already know as being usually reliable. To communicate openly, consistently and transparently already before a crisis is the best preparation - and therefore a top advice!
Closing eyes and hoping for the best never works! Half-truths, empty words or accusations may worsen the critical situation just like a tightened lid on a steamer about to explode at any time. Therefore: no cover-up, no excuses, it is just the truth that counts. This has to be respected by all people involved. Also important: Identify early enough all managers authorized to make public statements for the company.
Don't forget to communicate internally! Employees are important ambassadors of the company. For example, some will be called by customers, suppliers or even colleagues and asked critical questions. Make therefore sure, that the employees get all the necessary information from the management instead from the press. Answer to unpleasant questions in an open and honest manner. Because secretiveness will only create rumours, uncertainty and dissatisfaction.