Crisis management doesn’t stop when the fires die down
When the immediate threat of a crisis passes, it’s seductively comforting to breathe a huge sigh of relief and return to business as usual. However, the fallout and subsequent consequences are likely just beginning.
Trust will need to be repaired and confidence restored. Uninformed second-guessing will surely challenge your decisions and actions. Recovery is as critical as early response when the smoke begins to clear.
Be sure to reach out to all your publics to ensure that no lingering doubts remain or misinformation goes uncorrected.
How you conduct yourself and the actions of your company during this recovery period will long be remembered by the people whose opinions and trust you value most.
This quote, from the MCS Healthcare Public Relations series, “25 Years, 25 Lessons” discusses the work that must take place after the initial phases of crises have passed. Even after righting whatever the initial issue may have been, it is critical that the process continue, or a backslide of stakeholder opinion may extend the crisis indefinitely. The most successful crisis management campaigns go beyond the problem and into the future, not only assuring people that the root of the issue has been eliminated, but also that the individual or organization has learned from any mistakes and is actually stronger as a result.
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.]