No-one likes to talk about the times when things go wrong. But, it happens to us all, whether it’s a marketing or communications issue, or a wider operations or general business process failure. Whether for reasons beyond our control, or not, the trick to crisis management lies in the preparation you’ve done before and plans you have laid in place to handle the unexpected.
Now, there are many forms your preparation may take and it is of course entirely dependent on the nature of your business as to the amount of time and effort you may wish to put into such preparation. One thing’s for sure – at some point you’re going to have to deal with questions about the issue – whether from staff, customers, or other stakeholders, or increasingly due to the nature of social media these days, maybe a query from a journalist or two, so planning how you will stay on top of the issue and communicate about it is a worthwhile exercise. Here are some simple tips:
1. Know what’s going on – get your team together regularly throughout the incident and keep a good record of what’s happening and decisions made
2. Appoint a spokesperson and make sure they’re briefed
3. Be prepared to apologise if it’s your fault
4. Think about what you can do to make reparations for those affected by what has occurred
5. Once you’ve had a chance to examine the cause, be clear on what you are doing to prevent a repeat.
It’s obvious that when you’re in the middle of a situation keeping your head can be difficult, but remaining objective and calm will help those around you and together you will get through to better times ahead.