Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How to handle a crisis

When people ask us about crisis communications, we tell them to prepare for the worst by creating a plan. If you wait until you have a crisis on your hands, it’s too late.

Here what to do:

Have one spokesperson and one spokesperson only. Send all media to him or her, even if it means being on call 24/7.

Figure out what you’re going to say before you talk to the media. Think of the worst questions imaginable. Answer them as honestly as possible.

Never say “No Comment”. It implies guilt, sounds like you don’t care and are arrogant.

Say you’re doing everything possible to find out what’s happening and to fix the problem.

Tell the media you’ll let them know as soon as you can. Then do it.

Say you’re sorry. Show empathy for injury and suffering. Do not get defensive, no matter what anyone says.

Never lie. Journalists get people to spill their guts just by lending a sympathetic ear.

What say to the media and on social media networks in the first hour is crucial.

Having a plan is the basis for handling the pressure of a crisis if you ever face one.

For more information, call Dell Richards Publicity at 916-455-4790 or visit www.dellrichards.com.