Handling Crisis Communication

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We’ve seen it happen a little too often over the past couple of weeks, from Pepsi, to Nivea, and United Airlines, every organization is vulnerable to crises. According to the Institute for Public Relations a crisis is defined as, “a significant threat to operations that can have negative consequences if not handled properly.” Here are tips on how to handle a crisis within an organization.

  • Plan for a crisis – What is your organization most vulnerable to? How would you respond in that situation? Who/which team would handle the crisis? Who would address the media? Consider asking these questions in order to plan ahead.
  • Timeliness matters – According to Debra B. Davenport at Purdue University, acknowledging the situation as soon as possible helps you to minimize speculation and rumors, especially in a time where backlash and criticism take place online.
  • Be transparent – Trust is built on the ability to effectively communicate accurate information. Be honest with your target audience, admit fault and apologize even in times of crises.

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