A working plan is often the difference between success and failure in crisis management.
The scary thing about a media crisis is that it can happen to anyone at any time. It isn’t always about big business. Even mom-and-pop operations can feel the pain. You almost never see it coming, and it is rarely something you could have predicted. One day, you get a terrible questions like:
* “Is it true your mechanic installed the tire improperly and your service station is responsible for the accident that killed three people?”
* “Did the employee of your landscaping company really apply the wrong chemical to the lawn that resulted in the death of the child who played in the grass?”
Crisis management is the most important public relations function. Poorly handled, it can cost a company its reputation and perhaps even drive it out of business.
As this quote from an OCALA Business Journal article, written by Ed Gorin, makes clear, every business runs the risk of becoming involved in some type of crisis. While some things are simply unpredictable, the difference between a successful resolution and major reputation damage is often in the planning. By maintaining a workable crisis management plan, your organization is more prepared to resolve issues in a responsible and timely manner, minimizing negative media interest and allowing you to get back to business.
For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management
[Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc. , an international crisis management consultancy, and author of Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training.]