Crisis Ahead, part I – what you need to know before things go wrong

In this post, we will have a brief introduction to discuss the corporate crises. In this article, you will understand what is a crisis and if the crisis can be considered a nightmare or not. Keep up with The Airport Party to check some more info regarding Public Relations and Corporate Communications and sign our newsletter to get notified when our posts are uploaded!

There is no way out of this: each and every organization will face a crisis one day. Regardless of how big it is, it’s recommended for everyone to be prepared on how to deal with things when it finally happens, which justifies the need of having a good communication strategy.

Not all crisis can be predicted, and not all crisis breaks out from a problem inside, that means, under the company’s control. But let’s not go too far too soon, first things first:

What it Organizational Crisis?

The concept itself isn’t surrounded by major secrets. A crisis is formed when something strong enough to cause damage to the organizations and/or it’s interested parties happen. The outcomes can vary from low to extremely high, depending on the circumstances.

For an instance, I am sure you have heard of social media posts that got people in trouble, right? Listen to the adults (or your kids, nowadays it’s really messed up) when they tell you a certain post might get you in trouble. Offensive posts on social media might not only lead you to lose your job but also create a crisis in the organization, once its employees are the representatives of its values to the outside world. You wouldn’t want to have a sexist reputation on your brand, would you?

Photo by Alex Green on Pexels.com

Now, the reason I am using social media to give you a picture of a crisis isn’t just because. Social Media spread information in a crazy fast way, it’s like an explosion of information and reactions live. Regardless of the polarity of the information, whether good or bad, the impacts on consumer perceptions and the company’s reputation can go insanely high. Crisp’s 2019 Crisis Impact Report shown that social media holds a certain power responsible to bring brands and consumers close together, once more than half of them (53%) expect the brands to respond to a crisis within an hour. Another important data from the report shows us that social media are the preferred channel to share news for 40% of the respondents. The numbers need no further explanation, especially when we remember that there is social media presence in our modern lives.

A crisis can be started from many sources, not only social media. Misbehave from employees, bribery, wicked values practiced, lack of transparency, tax fraud… You name it, and I will tell you: it can lead to a crisis.

Is a crisis always bad?

Overall, a crisis can also be seen in prosperous frames, although it’s definitely not something brands look forward to the experience. But yeah, you can take good from the bad. When dealing with a crisis, you oughta review your strategy, how you stand up for yourself, what actions to take, and what to prioritize in business. Needless to say, a communications professional would be very – I mean, VERY – helpful to recover your good reputation (I am trying to be smooth, but you got the idea).

Photo by Dio Hasbi Saniskoro on Pexels.com

This is an opportunity to equalize your brand (and assets, because there is always money involved) to the external and internal expectations. External meaning your clients and the general public, internal meaning your stockholders and employees. It’s not an easy task to make everyone happy, which is why you need a specialist in corporate communications, but you must show people that the company can be trusted again.

What to do in situations of crisis?

That’s a very good question I’d love to answer. There is not a particular formula to recover your brand from a crisis, which leads us to the old, yet annoying, saying: each case is different.

When living in a crisis, you should be prepared rather than just fight it. It’s extremely important to have your argumentation all gathered and adopt a humble response to what happened and, as it should, your following steps. The trick here is not to just say it, you want to plan a strategy on those actions without lying to the public. Saying the truth is the number one rule you cannot break.

Next week I will let you know a little more about it 🙂 Meanwhile, behave!

Published by flaviastamato

Publicist and writer, a citizen of the world trying to free herself from writing cliches (but it's so tempting....)

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