TOW 6: A time of crisis

July 12, 2010

According to a slide show presented by professor Barbara Nixon, a crisis is “a non-routine event that risks undesired visibility that in turn threatens significant reputational damage.”

A crisis can put a great deal of strain on anyone, and sometimes even more so on a PR representative. However, there are seven things that can be done to relieve some of the stress and help the recovery process:

  1. A list of the members of the crisis management team
  2. Contact information for key officers, spokespeople, and crisis management members
  3. Fact sheets on the company, each division, each physical location, and each product offered.
  4. Profiles and biographies for each key manager in your company
  5. Copies of your company, division and product logos, your press release format and the scanned in signature of your CEO on disk
  6. Pre-written scripts answering key questions that you have generated through your crisis scenario analysis
  7. Contact information for each of you key media contacts both locally, nationally, and if appropriate, key financial press and analysts.

There are 3 R’s of Crisis Communication: Research, Response, and Recovery.

Take for example the latest Mel Gibson saga. Mel has been accused of being abusive to his ex-girlfriend and recently there have been tapes (phone) leaked to the press that sound like Mel Gibson talking to his ex, all expressing his anger at her for the way she dresses to not loving her.

“Any situation can be dealt with and some are easier than others,” says Glenn Selig in an interview about Crisis Management PR for Hollywood Celebrities, “The most critical thing is to create a plan and deal with the situation and not avoid it.”

No matter how the crisis is overcome, one thing is important to remember: stay calm and keep the communication flowing!

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