It so happens that every now and then, companies tend to face a crisis. It could be a bad review, a product recall that went wrong, a scandal, etc. If not handled correctly, these situations can affect the company’s brand negatively. Even influence the bottom-line of the company. So, the question is, do you have a crisis management plan or strategy in place?
A crisis can hurt your competitiveness and damage your reputation. Reports show that almost 40 percent of companies have to shut shop after a disaster.
Employing the services of an agency is a great way to protect and redeem your organization’s reputation and brand image.
There are stages of crisis communication. The agency will look out for issues that could lead to crises and deal with them before they do. They will guide you during the crisis and help you after.
An agency will help you assemble a crisis response force. They will have experience dealing with situations your company may not anticipate. The team will provide crisis communication plan templates and other resources to help you create an effective crisis management strategy.
They know the best ways to handle different kinds of audiences and change their perceptions. They know what voice to use, what words to say, and how to say it.
Chances are, the appointed agency will have dealt with different crises cases before and hence will offer valuable advice on how to handle the problem. You can expect their team to come up with a crisis management plan for your company’s specific problem. One of their roles is also to evaluate your company, the crisis, the people involved, what the audience is saying, and then offer a step-by-step guide on the best way to manage the crisis.
Once an issue goes public, it can go from bad to worse in minutes, especially in today’s internet world. The agency will help you respond to issues in the media and offer them constant updates.
They will help you draft support materials and statements to roll out to employees, the customers, and the public. The team will ensure that once the company is ready to face the media, they are ready with appropriate answers.
They will also schedule interviews so that the company ends the crisis on a positive note through maintaining customer loyalty, and the trust of shareholders and investors.
The work of the agency does not end once the crisis is over. You can count on them to help you clean up your company’s reputation. They will also strategize and implement plans to heal the damage caused to the company.
Additionally, the agency will help the audience move their attention away from the incident and help the company get back to business as usual. They also provide a fall-back strategy in case a similar incident occurs again.
The agency will also add value by providing training to your staff and your company spokesperson. Do bear in mind that the importance of crisis communication training is that it prepares them for any eventuality in the future.
The training covers areas like how to handle the media, how to answer the questions etc. They will hold mock interviews so that by the time the spokesperson faces the media, they are confident and adept at answering questions the right way.
It must be noted that communication with stakeholders and the general public during a crisis determines the people’s perception of a company. It is the first step towards rebuilding customer confidence.
Having an agency to handle your crisis, increases your survival in the future. It will help you to protect the company’s identity, reputation, and brand image. Best of all, the agency will help you prevent a crisis by quickly identifying issues in advance and help you deal with them before they explode.