What Do We Do If We Have a Media Crisis?
There are several things to remember when an organization is confronted with a media crisis. Nobody likes being in that position, but I know from experience it’s far easier to handle if you have a crisis communications plan and your key people are trained to speak to the media.
We live in an era where so many business leaders, politicians and celebrities make mistakes. Technology and social media have led to seemingly every false step being captured and then shown to the world. Whether it's a pro athlete saying or Tweeting something they shouldn't, or a politician doing something embarrassing, it happens all the time.
If something has gone wrong and you know you or your company was at fault, it’s best to take responsibility. People, including your customers, will be much more sympathetic, if you take responsibility for what happened and say you’re sorry. If it’s a situation that something terrible has happened, there’s nothing wrong with showing remorse, in fact it’s appreciated. Being human in times like this can be powerful.
Being organized means not running from the media when something bad happens and your organization is in the news for all the wrong reasons. It just makes the situation worse. Being organized means having a crisis communications plan and following it when the chips are down. Even if you don’t have a plan, your key spokesperson should have media training and understand how to prepare and deliver an effective response.
Being real can be extremely effective in any crisis situation. People don’t want to hear somebody trying to put a “positive spin” on the situation, they want somebody who’ll tell them what happened, how the company feels and what they plan to do about it. Not answering questions, or avoiding the media never works, especially in crisis situations.
The main point to remember is, when you find yourself in the middle of a media crisis, time moves very quickly and it’s easy to make bad decisions. Being prepared and trained will help every time.
If you have a question you can’t find an answer to,