On Tuesday, our class rang in a skype call with Ground Floor Media’s Vice President and one of their best crisis management experts, Carissa McCabe. Her experience in the field and through some difficult situations with client’s has led her to confidence in crisis management. Ground Floor has laid out 3 steps of crisis management to ensure that confidence through every incident that presents itself. Here are those steps that could help your business prepare, avoid, handle, and recover in the event of a crisis.
Stage 1: Before the Crisis
This stage is all about preparing for the worst. It’s always best to know as much about a situation and know every direction it could go wrong before it happens. This stage involves a lot of research. This means checking every bit of social media and seeing how the organization is being talked about amongst community members. Follow the conversation so closely, know what’s going on in the industry, and then make a plan for action regarding each possible scenario. The more prepared you are ahead of time, the better chance you have to handle and recover in a crisis situation.
Stage 2: During the Crisis
So now the crisis has happened. McCabe jokes that it’s usually a Friday afternoon when you’re about ready to go home and relax for the weekend (of course…). Now, it’s time to take action and address the issue to your audience. The most important part of this stage is communication, communication, communication. The best thing you can do in the event of a crisis is keep your audience updated and let them know that you are doing everything you can to make things right.
Another important part of this step, is to continually monitor the conversation on social media and in the mainstream media. Doing this will help you know what’s wrong, what your audience needs, and how to tailor your messages to solve the problem.
Stage 3: After the Crisis
Phew!! You made it through the crisis. It was tough, but you did it. Things are starting to settle so what do you do now?
It’s crucial that after a crisis, you don’t just let the event slip under the wrong. No, this is the chance to prove that your organization knows what it’s doing. Start a new conversation. Shed a new and positive light on a previously terrible situation. Learn from your mistakes and prepare for the new ones. And above all, keep the conversation open to your audience. Understand what they want to see from the organization in the future and use that to build an even stronger and more successful brand.