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5 tips for managing a crisis

By Morgan Van Houten

HurricaneIt’s just a matter of time before a crisis hits, and if you’re not prepared, it will show. Following the three R’s of a crisis: regret, reform, and restitution will help your company handle the situation and protect your reputation. Here are five tips to help you manage a crisis.

  1. Have a plan

A crisis communications plan should already be in place before a crisis hits. If you don’t have a plan yet, get one. It’s best to have preapproved messages and strategies. This ensures a quick response to the situation.

  1. Respond timely

In today’s day and age, news appears instantly on social media and can circulate fast. It’s essential to respond to the incident as quickly and as accurately as possible. If you don’t know all the details yet, that’s OK. Always state that you’re aware of the situation and are investigating the matter. People want to know you aren’t ignoring the situation. The best part is, this buys you some time. Have a few statements ready to help you respond quicker.

  1. Have trained spokespeople

Your plan needs to take into account the 24-hour news cycle. This means you should have at least three trained spokespeople available to work in 8-hour shifts to cover the 24-hour days and reduce the possibility of one person becoming exhausted or feeling overwhelmed.

  1. Be factual

Transparency is extremely important during a crisis. There is no need to risk more problems by altering the truth. Only speak on what you know to be completely true and thoroughly investigated. The truth always comes out and chances are your reputation has already been negatively affected, so avoid making it worse.

  1. Be empathetic

Acknowledge the damage and express regret to those the situation affects. It’s OK to defend your company. It’s not okay to ignore the people involved. Shed light on the direction you’re taking the company and what you plan to do to rectify the situation. Be specific in identifying the goals you have set. For example, more extensive training, rebranding, etc.


Planning for a crisis is critical in protecting your company’s reputation. For more information on how to manage a crisis, download Axia Public Relations’ complimentary e-book “Managing Public Relations in a Crisis” today.

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Featured image credit: Pixabay

Topics: Crisis Communications

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