Just read about a CEO with 8,000 employees who warned his employees that if one of the candidates for president wins, they could lose their jobs. How would you feel going to work every day for that company?
That’s an internal crisis: one that is going to take some quick turnaround time to give his employees a comfort level. Communication is the key – traditional and social media took this story viral.
Then there’s the case of the custom-made steroid prepared by New England Compounding Center, a specialty pharmacy in Framingham, Mass., that has caused the outbreak of rare fungal meningitis from steroid shots for back pain. The steroid was recalled Sept. 26, 2012, but 13,000 people were injected and who knows how many people will die from it. That’s an external crisis: one that should be addressed immediately with an internal crisis issue as well. Again, communication is the key – and traditional and social media are taking this story viral.
If your company experienced either an internal or external crisis, are you set up to tackle it right away? Do you have a crisis team in place with a list of cell and home phone numbers for quick access? Is there an attorney on the team? Do you know how to prepare and handle media inquiries? Who are the audiences you must reach immediately? Does someone in your organization understand how to use social media in a crisis?
Don’t get caught like the chemical company that was asleep when a crisis occurred and lost just enough momentum in communicating with their audiences to eventually put them out of business. There were high stakes, they gambled and lost everything.
Crisis prevention is very affordable and can be a company life saver. The Tylenol case is a prime example. They communicated well with their audiences often and honestly and saved lives and jobs of thousands of people.
Our message is to have a crisis plan in place, hoping you will never need to use it. Any good PR firm will be able to help. At Hermanoff Public Relations we do all of the above – and offer 24-hour crisis counseling.
It’s always better and safer to stay ahead of the curve. And planning for a crisis is just one smart move before the holidays.