Friday, July 2, 2010

Mary Schnack, Tips on Crisis Communications for Leaders

PR Tips

Crisis Communications     

Whether you are part of a large corporation or a small family business, no one is exempt from a crisis.
 Crises appear in the news all the time and small businesses are often the victim-business loss due to arson, product tampering, someone getting hurt on your premises, or a sexual harassment lawsuit.

If something were to happen at your place of business, would you be prepared? It's too late to develop a crisis communications plan once the crisis hits. You need to have a plan in place with professionals "on call," and know how to communicate both internally and to the media.


1. Appoint a crisis communications "team" and develop a crisis communications plan.

2. Having an on-going public and community relations program with pre-existing, positive relationships with the media and your community will help minimize the impact of many crises.

3. During a crisis, don't forget to communicate to your internal audience -- your employees, investors/shareholders, clients, community contacts and colleagues.

4. Be honest about what's going on. Provide as much information as you can and tell the truth!

5. Simple media training in advance is not only a good precautionary step, but can also be fun!

6. Develop message points that communicate the essence of your business, your concern, and your responsive actions.

7. Besides news releases and websites, use other inexpensive ways to get your messages out: Twitter, Facebook, e-mail, messages on voice mail - or the tried and true touch of personally calling people.

The key to the entire concept is to have the plan in advance. Don't let a crisis turn into a disaster.

"Public relations is a long-term commitment to outreach, and ultimately, your public image."

- Mary Schnack, President, Mary Schnack & Associates TIPS

No comments: