Crisis is a word most people fear. Those people, however, are not PR people. Crisis communication, although ideally avoided, is something that PR professionals must be prepared to handle.
A major aspect of crisis communication is understanding every audience that a company should contact in the event of an emergency. Potential audiences can include the community, the customers, the employees, the people affected by the crisis and their families, the news, etc. The list goes on and on.
Customers can make or break a business, so they should be a main priority in a crisis. Communicating with them is the key to success. The news will also be very important because they will be on scene in large scale incidents. Companies should have specific spokespeople to represent them in times of crisis in order to make sure they are represented in the most professional way.
It is also important to keep in mind what information each audience wants to hear, and to figure out the best way to communicate that to the specific audience. This way, the spokespeople can make a script of a message for each audience. Consistency of said message is absolutely essential in order to uphold the company’s reputation, especially as new information comes into play as time passes.
Although a crisis cannot be planned, being prepared for any curve that can arise during a crisis is the best way to ensure a smooth and successful response to any emergency.