The best time to be ready for a crisis is yesterday. If not today. This could well be the cardinal rule in crisis public relations. Yet, this is also far fetched from reality in organisations of today.
For some reason, the word ‘crisis’ is always, always associated with ‘panic’; most of today’s organizations tend to immediately get pushed into a panic mode, even at a distant sight of a crisis.
What then happens when there is a real crisis on hand, is anyone’s guess.
- a designated spokesperson, who will instantly be updated on any crisis that may have hit – he is the points man for all information to be given – facts, details, images, live feed and whatever.
- Handpicked communication team that swings into action – gets into an auto pilot mode in any mishap – which is connected and networked 24/7/365 to take the crisis PR initiatives. Stay abreast all through the crisis life cycle, and ceaselessly and tirelessly handles all queries from every corner of the globe.
- a communication mechanism (call it a protocol) which communicates to all the key decision makers and every internal stakeholder in the organization the details and occurrences of any crisis that may have hit, how the consequences will be managed, how internal/external stakeholder interests will be protected, what are the cost consequences and the impact on the organizations’ fiscals et al.
- a standard template that captures all the finer details of any mishap that may occur, roll it out into the form of a media release, so that the same can be handed to the media fraternity and follow up questions taken.
- a mechanism that ensure that all the state authorities are informed of the mishap in the shortest possible time, with as much details as gather-able in the least lead time.
- a media room which gets activated when such an event happens, where all the journalistic fraternity can report from, with all information fed to them officially, live wire
These may sound baby steps – yet, in the crisis management plan, many times its lack of this basic preparedness that brings in misery to the organization, than the actual crisis itself.
As the old adage, being well prepared is half the battle won. That’s true in managing a crisis too.