3 guidelines to keep crises at bay

Don’t try to sweep problems under the rug. Take immediate action when something goes wrong, and carefully select the right spokesperson.

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Most businesses have a generic crisis plan or approach outlined, though some pickles are impossible to predict. It’s hard to imagine that Procter & Gamble envisioned a phenomenon of teenagers ingesting laundry detergent sweeping the nation. However, it happened, and the company has scrambled to deal with the fallout.

Communicators today must consider—and anticipate—the possibility of bizarre, unsettling, potentially damaging events that can quickly spread and spiral out of control. Here are three key tips to navigate crises:

1. Take immediate action and responsibility.

Don’t dawdle when you come under fire. If your company has failed in some way, own up to it. Take responsibility, and clearly communicate how you plan to rectify the situation.

This step can be simply stating that the company is aware of the situation and will provide updates in a timely manner.

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