- Posted by Megan Paquin
- On September 19, 2019
- crisis, crisis communications, crisis strategy, PR tactics
You did it. You weathered the storm by effectively responding to your crisis. Now, it’s back to business as usual, right?
Not so fast.
At Poston Communications, we understand that a crisis plan does not stop at the response. In fact, turning your challenges into opportunities is important when emerging from the crisis storm to ensure clear and sunny skies for years to come.
Activate Your Recovery and Advocacy Plan
There are three main components to a crisis strategy: plan, respond and advocate. Depending on the situation, your crisis could live on the internet forever and no silver bullet will make it disappear. However, if you activate an advocacy or recovery plan in the immediate aftermath of the crisis, you give your chaos a silver lining.
How do you accomplish this? Promote the positive steps you are taking to build back the confidence of your stakeholders or by highlighting something exciting happening in your organization. Even when you are anticipating a crisis, you can project more positive news upfront to sandwich with the negative news to come.
To do this effectively, it is critical that the right team is established and informed about the crisis at hand. Hiring a public relations firm before a crisis is anticipated to break can help organize strategies, provide a focused effort to address the crisis and an unbiased, third-party perspective to assist internal staff in identifying positive stories, and develop a timeline for the release of news.
Take, for example, any of the corporate-dominated national news headlines: How do those brands sit with you now? Your feelings likely dictate how well those companies managed their reputations before, during and after a crisis.
Ultimately, it is important to implement strategies that not only address the crisis but also consider your organization’s long-term goals and objectives. Being prepared with a proactive recovery and advocacy plan will allow you to effectively manage your reputation, prevent the crisis from coming back to haunt you later and improve sentiment for your organization among key stakeholders.
Depending on the cards you were dealt, a crisis can reveal things that you may not have known about your business. Be on the lookout for what happens after the heat of the crisis, whether by analyzing media coverage, monitoring social media or conducting surveys to gauge sentiment. Using these tactics, you could discover opportunities and leverage them for change and growth.
Every crisis brings a lesson, not only about your organization in general but also about how your crisis plan fared throughout the process. Be sure to update your crisis plan immediately after the storm passes by determining how your messaging was received, whether you were adequately prepared, whether you addressed the right audiences and how well you anticipated the situation.
Post-Crisis Legal Strategy
Because Poston Communications is lawyer owned and led, we look at a crisis not just as a communications crisis but also as a legal crisis. Often when there is a crisis, a lawsuit follows, bringing with it several other issues to address. These legal issues can have internal and external communications needs, and we can position you for future success by bringing communications expertise to your case.
Contact us to learn more about how we can advance your business and legal strategy with our communications counsel and turn your challenges into opportunities for success.
Megan Paquin is vice president at Poston Communications, based in Orlando.