When Disaster Strikes: The Do’s & Don’ts of Crisis Management

It happens even to the best of us: one moment you’re trying to gain publicity, but the next moment you’re desperately trying to avoid publicity because you have made headlines for all the wrong reasons…

Take a deep breath and follow this simple checklist in case of a crisis:

1) What exactly happened?
You don’t want to dig yourself into a deeper hole by commenting publicly about a crisis that you don’t fully understand. This could lead to you issuing press statements to repair the damage caused by your earlier statements.

2) Why did it happen?
There is nothing that panics the audience more than hearing: “We don’t know what happened…” – because that means it could happen again any time.

3) What is the impact?
Use your relationships with the media to prevent inaccurate or misleading information being published – or at least having your side of the story receiving greater coverage so that the positive drowns out the negative.

4) What is being done to prevent another crisis?
Reassure your audience by highlighting the steps you have taken to ensure that lightning doesn’t strike twice.

5) Turn negatives into positives
Try to magnify any positive aspects, for example highlighting your swift response to rectify the situation. Don’t be too defensive, and convey an image of honesty and responsiveness.Above all, remember: the best way to solve a crisis is to prevent it before it even happens. Have a team that can take action around the clock, and identify the spokespersons and procedures.

You just might come out of your ordeal an even stronger brand than before!