Proactive Crisis Management

Sections of this topic

    Get your story out first

    As anyone who’s been involved in a crisis knows, bad news travels alarmingly fast. This has been compounded in recent years by the evolution of cell phones into mobile computers, creating the need for near-instant reactions to breaking crises. When the situation does arise, Crisis Management 101 dictates that you take control of the situation. How do you do this? Babble On Communications President Susan McLennan gave her advice in a recent article:

    Be proactive. Break bad news yourself so you can ensure your side of the story is heard. Waiting for someone else to tell it means you will only be responding and not able to contextualize the issue in the most helpful way. Reach out to the media and make your website a destination by updating it with the information the media and the public want, including the bad news.

    Making yourself the go-to for information in a crisis means that you can make sure your customers get all of the facts, not just the negatives, which is what other outlets will surely be focusing on. It also plays the important role of combating rumor and innuendo, the common foes that arise when there is a lack of communication from an organization in crisis. Nothing is guaranteed to stop negative attention in a crisis, but by being proactive you can help shift stakeholder’s perspectives towards the positive.

    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.]