This week we have been learning about Issues Management and Crisis Communication in our Corporate PR class. In any company, corporation, or even relationship, there are going to be issues. Crisis is likely to arise, and it is important to know who you are and how you are going to handle the different situations that may present themselves.
I believe that one of the best ways to prepare yourself for crisis as a company is to have plan in place in which everyone involved is aware of. Organization is the key element in crisis communication as it allows for everyone involved to remain calm throughout the situation. It is also important to have someone in charge of gathering the information and deciding what information will be in view for the public to see.
I have seen several good examples of how to handle crisis and several bad examples of organizations that have encountered crisis and how they have handled the situations. I think that the most important thing is to be honest. Being honest doesn’t necessarily mean spilling all of the beans, but it does mean that you should never stretch the truth, or say something that isn’t completely true. Telling little white lies may feel good at the moment, but it will not feel good nor look good when the public finds out that you not only had a crisis, but you lied about what happened.
Although crisis is not always avoidable, you are able to communicate in an organized fashion, making the situation better for everyone.
When issues present themselves, don’t be shocked. Things are going to happen, and it’s not about what happens that matters the most, but rather how you handle the situation.
So, be smart. Be proactive. Be honest. And always tell the truth. The public that your company is serving deserves to know the truth. Give them the truth, it will be worth it in the end.