Thursday, 24 February 2011

Crisis management. When a disaster strikes don’t run and hide.

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Winston Churchill

Crises shouldn’t necessarily be regarded as the natural disasters of the business world. It is true that they emerge unexpectedly increasing the perceptions of risk, but following the right set of rules usually give public relations professionals many opportunities to benefit from the situation.
If you want to create a bigger crisis on the top of the existing one you should follow these simple instructions.
1. Don’t react timely!
Public relations practitioners should be prepared to take actions in a very short time. That is why any crisis plan needs to be as simple as possible.
2. Deny even if it is obvious that you are guilty
Problems need to be addressed as soon as they arise. Don’t hide behind your brand name and reputation because you might end up losing your clients’ trust.
3. Don’t say anything
It is essential to know how to deal with the media and tell your side of the story because the less you say the more the world wants to know what is wrong.
4. Play hide and seek
Transparency is of vital importance for the company’s success. In a case of crisis being transparent and cooperative might save your brand’s reputation.
5. Ignore the public opinion
Public relations professionals should be able to react in a fast changing environment and consider people’s perceptions of the crisis situation.
It is hard to believe that anybody would follow these rules, isn’t it? But actually I was surprised how many companies actually adhered to them as a result of which an issue which could have been handled developed into a full blown crisis.

How not to handle a crisis: Toyota case study

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