Prepare for a crisis in 6 steps

There’s no sense in tempting fate by failing to plan for the little bumps or major upheavals that can hit your organization, brand or client. Follow this six-step protocol.

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As part of a beta test, I worked with Phil Mershon and Michael Stelzner to schedule meetings with organizations that need help with crisis communications, and those went really well.

We talked about everything from negative reviews and snarky emails to tax evasion and Hurricane Katrina.

Some of what we discussed could have been completely avoided; other topics were a major slap in the face of the unprepared.

The one thing everyone had in common, though? During the crisis communications, they got defensive and flustered instead of remaining cool and collected.

It all comes down to one thing: preparation.

If you are not prepared to handle a negative tweet, a rogue employee, a natural disaster or even gun violence, you will not handle it well.

Issue vs. crisis

The first thing we did is talk through the difference between an issue and a crisis.

An issue:

A crisis, on the other hand:

Most of us face issues every day; they can be managed efficiently and easily, if not avoided altogether.

They escalate into crises, though, when we let the events get the better of us.

The crisis communications process

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