Crisis Communication: Turning a Crisis Into an Opportunity

Crisis Communication: Turning a Crisis Into an Opportunity

Crisis Communication: Turning a Crisis Into an Opportunity 1921 1081 Morgan Lawrence

Over the last two years, everyone has had to face unprecedented challenges. From labor shortages to navigating the new normal of masks and remote work, these unanticipated circumstances have shown that companies and individuals should prepare for the worst, even though a crisis may never reach the most critical level. It is better to be prepared and ready to handle anything than caught off guard by the slightest setback. Investing in crisis communications helps mitigate the negative effects of any crisis, big or small.

We may not be able to control crises and when they arise, but we can control how we respond to them; when handled well, a crisis can even be turned into an opportunity for growth. There are three components to handling crises: planning, responding and advocating.

Planning for crises and utilizing professional advice help minimize risks and pinpoint where issues could arise. Planning ahead helps prevent minor problems from becoming full-blown crises. At the early stage in a problematic situation, there is a lot of “if this happens, then we will respond this way” talk and formulating plans for any potentially more serious issues. Your mindset for crisis management should be to manage for tomorrow; taking preventative steps helps ensure that a crisis never actually reaches an unmanageable level.

When responding to crises, there are a few key guidelines to follow to maintain audience trust. Telling the truth and being transparent are effective ways to appeal to your audience and maintain their trust at a time of crisis. Be informative, tell your audience everything they need to know and be so thorough that there is no room for questions. In addition, proving your words with action and outlining ways your company will work to fix the issue also makes your audience know that you realize the crisis needs to be addressed.

Advocacy is the part of crisis communications where you have the chance to redeem yourself by promoting the positive changes you are making in light of the crisis. Let people know you’ve learned a lesson and what that lesson actually is. Consistently reassuring your audience that you are making steps in a positive direction helps them feel like they can trust you. If you are anticipating a potential crisis, you can use advocacy to show all the good things your company is doing and hopefully mitigate the effects of whatever is likely to come, circling back to the planning stage.

After you work to solve a crisis, return to your audience and stakeholders for feedback: What do they think you did well? How could you improve in the future? Listening to your audience helps you gauge how they respond to your words and actions and how you can appease them in the future. Even putting yourself in your audience’s shoes and brainstorming on how you would want a company you trust to respond to a crisis can help. You can also monitor social media and news coverage to gauge how people are feeling and how your responses are being received by the public.

Managing crises becomes easier with time. As you encounter more issues, your company will figure out what works and what doesn’t, helping you be better prepared for future problems. Knowing how to handle crises helps your company emerge stronger than before the problem started. If you’re looking for additional help navigating crisis communications, rAVe [STORYTELLING] has proven success in strategic communications and media relations for the AV industry.