At one point or another, every business big or small, will face a crisis.  How you handle the crisis can either give your company a much needed fresh start or leave you seriously damaged. Today, news can go viral in an instant thanks to social media.  You have no control over what happens to your image once it hits the media. What you can do is called crisis management. Crisis management is regaining control of your company’s image after a crisis has hit the fan. But, this only works when it’s done quickly and efficiently.  So here are some tips on how your business can handle a crisis. 

First Things First, Take Responsibility!

The worst thing to do when a crisis arises is try to cover it up.  Transparency is your best ally when you are confronting the issue. People want answers and it is important to first take responsibility for the issue.  Make it clear that you know there is a problem and your team is working to fix it. Don’t wait to make a statement, address the issue publicly in some capacity ASAP.  It doesn’t have to be a long thought out press release or statement, it can be one sentence that your company is looking into the issue and is working to solve the problem. Making a statement when the news is fresh shows that your company is not ignoring the issue, hoping it will go away. 

Be Prepared 

You can’t really predict when a crisis might happen, that’s why you need to have a plan in place for how your company is going to react in a worst case scenario.  How you can approach this daunting task is creating a crisis communication and management team. This team will work together to brainstorm a plan on how they are going to tackle a crisis.  Run through various scenarios and possible issues your company could face and how the issue would be dealt with. During crisis management team meetings, train designated people on being a spokesperson for the company. You do not want all employees speaking to the press and media during this time.

Learn From Your Mistakes

The biggest thing to concentrate on is figuring out why this happened and how to prevent something similar from happening in the future.  A crisis can sometimes be out of your control, but it is important that you create a policy or change what sparked the issue. Use the negative experience as a way to make your company stronger and immune to a similar incident. Make sure that these changes are visible to the public.  This will aid in regaining their trust and building your reputation up again. You want to come out of the situation a better, more prepared company.

 

Written by: Kaitlyn Robinson, TEPSBEST Intern