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14 May 2015

Less is not always more

Your reputation is important. In good times we sing out loud about contract wins, new staff appointments and hitting growth targets. We are proud to share news of our good deeds and charitable efforts…but what happens when things don’t go to plan?

How you react in a crisis is just as important, perhaps even more so. Imagining the unimaginable, and looking at how prepared you are for all eventualities can be a sobering process. Adopting the “it’ll never happen to us” mind-set is hopeful at best, and catastrophic at worst. When an emergency occurs the need to communicate is immediate. Regardless of your industry, understanding the risks you are exposed to and developing a plan should the worst happen is a critical element of your business strategy.

If operations are disrupted, customers will want to know how they will be impacted. Regulators may need to be notified and local government officials will want to know what is going on in their community. Employees and their families will be concerned and want information. Neighbours living near the facility may need information - especially if they are threatened by the incident. All of these “audiences” will want information before the business has a chance to begin communicating.

A comprehensive crisis communication plan will be your map should you find yourself in the midst of a crisis. Having a clear outline of which stakeholders should be involved at what time, the role of key individuals within the organisation, and a dedicated liaison for the press should the need arise will ensure that you navigate the potential pitfalls in the vital first few hours of a crisis.

Like it or not, you will be judged by your actions. Less is not always more. The simple “No Comment” statement is appropriate in certain circumstances, but this should not be a fall-back position due to lack of preparedness.  Your actions will give the world an insight into accountability of your business and your effectiveness to manage a situation. A joined-up approach at the top level of your business will ensure your reputation is protected to the best of your ability and will mitigate against speculative, incorrect or slanderous media coverage. 

ThinkResponse can give clarity on the level of risks your business faces. We offer a thorough approach to response planning and honest advice from our crisis specialists who have dealt first-hand with national and international incidents. You have the power to be in control, this is not a topic to leave to chance.

Please get in touch if you’d like more information about our approach to crisis communications or our media training packages.