Finally! DC is getting its spring, and leaving winter weather behind – we’ll take it even as late as May if we have to, but… one thing that never goes out of season is smart crisis PR planning.
It’s amazing how all sorts of businesses and organizations, big and small, never consider crisis management as a necessity to plan for, as if they’re magically immune from reality. So here’s a nice laundry list of how real it can (and often does) get:
• Car dealership: what if a test driver runs over people in the parking lot?
• Downtown bakery: what if the store catches fire and destroys the adjoining building?
• Labor union: what if the treasury is embezzled?
• Tourism bureau: what if your CEO is caught making a racist rant?
Unintended comedy aside, these hypotheticals are meant to illustrate the incredible range of incidents than can destroy a business or organization’s reputation very quickly. That’s why prior crisis public relations planning is so vital – and, it’s always much better and easier to plan in advance than to scramble when things are in disarray.
Once the media, regulators, naysayers, critics, cynics, or other interested audience gets whiff of the negative incident, you won’t have time to generate a holding statement, talking points, anticipated Q&A, media train spokespeople, get a team in place, and execute other crucial tactics. Plan in advance to buy time — and ultimately, goodwill.