Find out the top traits and tips for successful crisis communications leaders.
Every team is going through some level of crisis or disruption right now considering we’re in month 13 of living through a global pandemic. If you have the honor to lead your company, you must improve your emotional intelligence and increase your transparency. This is especially true during a crisis.
A crisis situation is overwhelmingly stressful, and that’s why we plan and practice for these moments so we don’t lose our cool, snap at someone, or say something inappropriate or insensitive.
In addition, never lose your focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and representation. Your department, your leadership, your board, your conference room, and your Zoom strategy sessions should all include people who do not look like, think like, or act like you. Smart leaders surround themselves and their people with colleagues from diverse experiences and backgrounds. Too often something sounds smart in a boardroom or conference room and absolutely misses the mark in the eyes of the outside world.
Just ask Burger King. It’s U.K. marketing team is under fire for tweeting “Women belong in the kitchen” on International Women’s Day. The world of a washing machine looks a lot different from the inside than it does from the outside. You must open your environment to the perceptions of others. To do that, you must allow for diversity, equity, inclusion, and representation, and be sure to ask for and solicit input from outside advisers, including outside PR counselors.
Now that you know this is something your company has to do, how do you go about doing it?
Form a crisis communication team, develop a plan, practice the plan, and follow these 10 steps.
Include a small group of senior executives, along with your diverse corporate communications team. Speak to an outside expert PR agency that has a crisis communications practice or specialization. Also include human resources and legal teams as well as someone empowered to delegate roles and tasks to operations, social media, webmasters, etc.
Review your crisis communications plan every quarter with some role-playing or rehearsal. Practicing the plan will help you experience some of the gaps and allow you to make adjustments while there’s time, patience, and clarity.
According to FEMA, for every $1 spent on crisis planning, a company saves $7 during a crisis. That’s why it’s integral for your company to take the time to create and implement a crisis communications plan that ensures diverse, equitable thinking.
At Axia Public Relations, we are a team of experts that can help you with your crisis communication efforts while taking your public relations ambitions up a notch. Download our e-book “Managing Public Relations in a Crisis” for professional advice.
Clients love Jason’s passion, candor, and commitment as well as the team he has formed at Axia Public Relations. He's advised some of America’s most admired brands, including American Airlines, Dave & Buster’s, Hilton, HP, Pizza Hut, and Verizon. He is an Emmy Award-winning, accredited public relations practitioner, speaker, author, and entrepreneur and earned his certification in inbound marketing. He founded the PR firm in July 2002. Learn more about Jason.
Topics: crisis communications