When a client least expects it they could be facing a crisis. Whether it is business, government or politics, every entity will have to deal with a crisis sooner or later. How the crisis is managed can mean the difference between a temporary setback and the survivability of the entity involved. Swift action to contain the crisis can help save the most valuable asset of all —one’s reputation and that goes for companies as well as individuals.
There are three keys to successful communications during a crisis. First, making sure you are prepared to handle one before it happens, second, anticipating your areas of crisis vulnerability, and third, responding quickly and forcefully when one occurs.
PD Communications has the experience to assist our clients in preparing for a crisis by developing crisis communications management plans and working with them to implement them. This will involve taking an inventory of all the client’s communications assets. From that inventory, PD Communications will work with the client to develop messages for all potential crises that might occur, have spokespersons pre-selected to respond, ensure they are properly trained to respond when the crisis hits and finally, seize the opportunity to educate the public on why and how the crisis happened and deliver positive messages to counter negative images from the media.
PD Communications Principal Patrick Dorinson managed communications for the California ISO during California’s Energy Crisis of 2000-01. He and his team used the opportunity to not only warn the public of the daily situation with the state’s electricity supply, but to also educate the public and reporters on how the electricity system worked and why California found itself in this predicament. They were open and honest with the media and the public and that helped preserve the reputation of the organization.