Crisis Checklist

As crisis experts, we believe in sharing our best practices with the wider business community.

Reputation Building

A trustworthy reputation is your most precious asset. In the event of a crisis, a strong reputation will serve as a bulwark of credibility that will allow you to capture the benefit of the doubt and recover speedily.

To build the unassailable reputation you need, we’ll help you to:

  • Operate transparently, generate awareness, establish credibility
  • Make strategic communications part of your everyday business
  • Open lines of two-way communication, particularly through digital and social media
  • Keep your key stakeholders – customers, consumers, investors, board of directors, affiliates – well-informed, and in a timely fashion
  • Establish a media policy that meets the needs of your organization and guides employees

Crisis Preparedness

Strategic preparation will help you take a principled approach, rather than flying by the seat of your pants. We can help you prepare in advance to handle scenarios that could threaten your business and reputation.

Do you have a crisis plan in place? Does it include a crisis communications framework? Is it scenario-driven? Does it prepare you to handle a range of potential financial, legal, product, administrative, operational and infrastructure-related crises? Have you recently conducted any exercises to test its practicality, flexibility and effectiveness – and your readiness?

We can help you prepare.

  • Media training helps you designate appropriate spokespeople, develop messages in advance, and prepare and rehearse for media interviews.
  • Communications planning gives you the tools needed to create helpful media opportunities, establish a media policy covering digital and social media as well as traditional news media, create visuals, create or enhance a media monitoring program, secure third-party support, craft responses to frequently asked questions, and establish search engine optimization (SEO) practices.
  • Social media will help you communicate with stakeholders instantly and efficiently. An organization must establish its presence on strategically selected social media platforms well in advance of a crisis. This means building a following, cultivating engagement and consistently sharing meaningful content.
  • Your disaster and operational planning must include strategic and tactical guidelines for managing contentious situations with a variety of stakeholders. This level of preparedness includes scenario planning, advance drafting of position statements and answers to likely tough questions, reaction alternatives, and response tools that can quickly provide factual information as needed.
  • Table-top drills are intensive exercises that prepare you in a number of ways, such as clarifying roles and responsibilities, identifying actions to enhance the decision-making process, and detailing responses to further develop protocols, procedures, training and policy making.

Crisis Communications

We have the expertise and experience to jump into a crisis and complement legal counsel to help you manage in a way that will allow you to recover fully and, often, emerge stronger.

The first minutes of any crisis are critical. In a digital world, this is where all the preparation and planning are put into action.

PANTCHEK is a handy acronym to keep in mind when managing communications in a crisis – and not get caught with your pants down.

  • Public welfare is the first priority
  • Assemble the facts. Once they are verified, Announce All bad news at once
  • No blame, No speculation, No repetition of negative charges or questions
  • Tell your side of the story or Take responsibility
  • Care and Concern for those affected – express it sincerely and right at the outset
  • High-level organization spokesperson – let the public see the crisis has top-level attention
  • Ensure that it will not happen again with a solid plan that will generate confidence
  • Keep a separate plan for moving daily business ahead

Reputation Recovery

Merely managing your way through is not aiming high enough. You need to rebuild or reinforce your reputation and respect for your brand, and keep your relationships intact.

Diligent reputation-building is essential. Depending on the nature and duration of the crisis, success may require a long-term effort.

  • Maintain open communications with media, community members, customers, consumers, investors, employees, governing bodies and affiliates via all communications channels, including social media.
  • Employ awareness-raising tactics
  • Differentiate your organization from the pack – did the crisis make you better and/or stronger?
  • Become a category expert among your peers
  • Conduct “post mortem” analysis and incorporate what you learn into future scenario planning