Hey! Welcome to the craziest crisis that seems to touch any and every business in the world right now. Suddenly, email inboxes are being flooded with what company you’ve ever engaged with is doing to make sure their employees and products are safe. Enter critiques, enter human errors, enter a major need for crisis communications.
I’ve been involved in a few crises during my decade career in social and digital media marketing, and a way to win a crisis is to BE PREPARED for a crisis before one even happens. When I was the head of social at a company in NYC, we had regular bomb threat drills, biochemical attack drills, fire drills, etc. You get the point. Not only did we have physical drills of what to do in case of emergency, we had crisis plans in place for what individuals were needed in an immediate war room once a crisis broke, and which media would be the first to share our response as a company, and who needed to approve that response.
On the far other end of the spectrum, I worked for a national company in South Florida that refused to acknowledge crises until they were already a full blown social media mess. Employees had no idea what the company’s stance was, or that there was even an issue, until they read something online. Soon after, a new hatchet man, disguised as a new CEO, joined the company and got rid of everyone I knew who ever worked there, and I knew the entire C-Suite.
Granted, some brands can be let off the hook because it wasn’t apparent how severely coronavirus would disrupt our society. But it’s not too late to activate a crisis communications plan and stay on top of what is happening right now in our world. Be transparent with your employees, evaluate what might need to change with your products/services, find where you can help right now.
Fortunately, I created a crisis communications guide for companies during #COIVD19 using my experience dealing with crises both on digital and traditional media. I included the infographic below, but please download the PDF version so you can click on each link for details on what to do in a crisis in that particular section of your company.
Good luck on your journey through this! – Marji J. Sherman