Have you ever worried about making a business mistake that could destroy your company’s good name?
Because of this possibility, many businesses are cautious about their public relations. Luckily, there are ways to prevent a crisis from happening.
The blog below explains what crisis management is and how to implement it.
What is crisis management?
Crisis management uses specific management strategies to skillfully deal with sudden and significant adverse events for the company.
These events can be different, resulting from the consequences of your actions or an unpredictable event. However, you should be ready to make quick decisions that minimize damage in either case.
For instance, the damage could be done to the safety, health of employees, the organization’s finances, and, of course, a company’s reputation.
Therefore, it would be best to prepare and become effective in your actions for these and many other possible options.
The purpose of crisis management is to know if any crisis is on the way to prevent it from happening. Once a crisis occurs, stick to your crisis management strategy to put out the fire quickly. Let’s see how to create such a strategy.
Crisis management is a long process, and you should put it into action before potential damage is already done. Of course, it aims to minimize post-crisis damage and to practice crisis management both before, during, and after an adverse event occurs.
The first rule of crisis management: know what is being said about you
When talking about the main crisis management principles, it’s worth emphasizing your responsibility to the public. A hidden crisis can damage your reputation, and negative public opinions that usually form when a PR crisis occurs can ruin your trustworthiness. That’s why it is crucial to react immediately. Additionally, a quick response to the public will make the message more visible and credible.
Posting information about the situation on your social media profiles and sending an e-mail to your customers is excellent to keep your audience up-to-date. By doing so, you reduce the risk of losing their trust. And, losing your customers’ trust could mean they also stop using your products or services, which could be another disaster you can suffer in a PR crisis.
To coin a robust crisis management strategy, it’s crucial to monitor what is being said about your company online on an ongoing basis. You need to know how much negative and positive feedback you achieve daily and be on alert if your reputation starts declining.
Furthermore, it’s important to nurture specific skills which will help you deal with a crisis successfully.
Important crisis management skills
Regardless of the situation, people responsible for dealing with a crisis should demonstrate several universal skills for any potential problem.
Avoid panic at all costs. Emotional decisions will cause more chaos. It is essential to maintain a clarity of mind, which helps make rational decisions and effectively solve any problem.
Time is vital in a crisis, so the person responsible must communicate clearly and straightforwardly. This way, colleagues will take their actions faster and remain calm. Effective communication powerfully translates into the quality of teamwork.
A crisis will never be a templated, simple case. Creativity is important when the problem is demanding. You have to think on your feet and develop a quick and effective action.
Using your creativity will also allow you to look at the matter from different perspectives, leading to a factual assessment of the situation.
If a crisis means a conflict with another company or a person, your position must be friendly but firm. Patience and understanding in such a situation are the keys to both sides’ alliance. As a result, negotiations can go more straightforward and better than you expected.
Even if you have handled previous PR crises without any complaints, your solutions may not work in the current case. So, it’s worth accepting the opinion of other colleagues. Diversity of view in a team is a positive and significant contribution to problem-solving.
Once you sharpen these skills, you are ready to execute crisis management methods.
Five methods to manage a crisis effectively
1. Remain calm
Peace of mind makes you more rational. It will work out better than decisions made under the influence of negative emotions and panic.
2. Act fast
Don’t wait! Stay up to date with your reports and inform your recipients about any problems that arise. Real-time notifications from Mediatoolkit will help you with this.
3. Communicate with all relevant parties
Take the opinion of others into account, thanks to which you will eliminate as many errors as possible and further consequences resulting from the crisis.
4. Take responsibility
Be mature and make no excuses. Instead, take responsibility for your shoulders by providing specific data. Otherwise, audiences may think you want to avoid any consequences.
5. Evaluate the results and make necessary changes
Evaluate user activity on an ongoing basis and react when it is needed. Thanks to Mediatoolkit’s Reports, you will form an objective picture of the situation to suggest more solutions and positive actions.
Steps to a successful crisis management plan
Once you have the right skills and know the suitable methods for handling a crisis, you can start forming your crisis management plan.
A crisis management plan is a reference tool. It contains a list of critical contact information. It helps in gathering information and sources that you can refer to. Such activities can significantly save your time when every minute counts.
Step 1: Form a crisis management team
The crisis management team should include people dealing with public relations, security, human resources, finance, security, and legal aspects of your business. Having people from various teams in your crisis management team will enrich your efforts with different perspectives. That can help you create a rational response to multiple crises while keeping multiple aspects in mind – from the HR perspective to the financial outlook of your response.
Step 2: Assess risk potential
Assess which elements of your company may be most exposed to a potential crisis. First, consider even the least apparent options when doing your in-depth research. Then, identify all aspects that might be relevant and analyze them together with your team members.
Step 3: Calculate the impact
Find out the impact of each action and what consequences they may have. Maybe the crisis will not affect the rest of the company’s aspects, but the situation brings another problem. Be patient and have a thorough cause-and-effect analysis.
Step 4: Create a response plan
Your response to a crisis must be quick. Reply within the first few hours of the beginning of a crisis. Of course, this puts high pressure on the people responsible for preparing such a message.
However, remember that the media often fill your gaps in information with false data. You must present your version of the event(s) with accurate data and information that will be hard to question because there is evidence for them. Doing this will make your audience aware that you control the situation and make them gain deeper trust and respect for you. To have all the vital information in the palm of your hand in only a few seconds – turn to media monitoring. If it concerns cybersecurity, you may want to consider keeping an eye on identity theft monitoring too.
Step 5: Create a crisis monitoring system
Besides having the skills mentioned above and people from various company departments in your crisis management team, it is also crucial to always know what the public thinks of your company to form a good crisis response.
As we’ve mentioned above, to have a great crisis management strategy, it is essential to constantly be in the know about your company’s public perception and the overall trends in your industry to respond to any negative feedback. It’s almost impossible and very time-consuming to do this manually, so to get started with crisis monitoring, it’s crucial to use an excellent media monitoring tool, such as Mediatoolkit.
Media monitoring tools monitor the web for mentions of your desired keywords and should be your go-to helpers in preventing and reacting to a PR crisis.
How to use Mediatoolkit for crisis management
Set up a query
Then, create quick filters, which will allow you to filter out your results by sentiment, influencers, sources, authors, locations, reach, virality, etc. This way, you will ensure quick, focused, and advanced research.
Turn on Alerts
Mediatoolkit will allow you to receive alerts in real-time, including notifications about mentions on portals such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, websites, blogs, and forums. You get to create Alerts and choose when and how you want to receive your data.
Another useful feature for crisis management is Spike Alert, which notifies you whenever there’s an increase in the number of mentions of your tracked keywords.
Make use of Digests
With Mediatoolkit, you can also create daily summaries that will help you create a reliable report and objectively assess the state of a crisis.
Step 6: Prepare a social media action plan
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to ignore the possibility of reacting on your social media profiles. Nowadays, social media has a significant impact on your audience, and it is the easiest way to reach out to the public. Social media channels are also the easiest way for the public to express their opinion in a crisis. To avoid the culmination of negative feedback, publish a statement about your case via social media as soon as a crisis occurs.
Mediatoolkit will inform you about all critical online buzz surrounding your keywords of interest on social media.
Start tracking your online mentions today
To successfully cope with effectively managing a crisis, you must consider many factors. Starting from your attitude, quick reaction, and adequate communication with automated tools. First of all, remember to:
- Assess the level of risk,
- Choose the right team,
- Have a rapid response to the crisis,
- Analyze and create reports on your activities
A rising crisis can significantly impact your business, so it’s worth taking precautions. Mediatoolkit will help you meticulously track what is being said about you online. With all the crucial information and analyses, you will be ready to prevent and resolve possible crises.
You can try Mediatoolkit out for free today and see why it should be your go-to helper in crisis management.