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Crisis Management: Riding the Dangerous Wind

February 22, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 149

In times of corporate crisis, it takes a bold maneuver, preparedness plus good public relations to spin the scenario in favor of the organization.

In today's world of 24-7 news channels and broadband, news travels swiftly and can cause hell to break loose if no proper action is be taken immediately. Man-made disasters, discontented customers or malevolent employees, a crisis can arise from anything; and may pose a threat to the corporation, stake holders and public interest as well.

The fundamental for crisis management is accountability. That is to build an atmosphere of trust in the public eye. If some thoughtful steps are taken it can help alleviate the crisis, the risk is less & it is business as usual afterwards.

Anticipate all possible crisis situations and plan the course of action in advance. Not all scenarios can be figured out before hand, but some are fairly common and there are famous PR cases about how skillfully or shoddily a company can respond to them. A crisis management firm can do that for you.

The next step would be to identify people who are adept in handling such PR affairs and giving them the authority to act speedily to clear things up. There should be a PR crisis management team in place in every corporation that includes both in-house and outside counsels to analyze legal technicalities and dent to the reputation.

The pre-crisis strategy should be to kill the monster when it is small; curb the smallest of problems from the inside before they become high-profile cases. The C-team should constantly monitor any signs of poor service, employee's discontent, problems in delivery and transportation, bad products, safety hazards, information leaks and scoops from the inside.

A Crisis Management Plan is a must have document. It should not be a lengthy treatise, just a checklist of points to take care is sufficient. A crisis plan is different from a business-continuity plan. It can be thought of as a long term cure, BCP being similar to first aid.

Regularly conducted mock Crisis Audit will ensure nothing goes awry on the day of crisis.

Make friends with the media. Appoint key people who would act as spokesperson on behalf of the company. It is wise to build fruitful relationship with the media during times of peace and prosperity.

To deal with the crisis, an old strategy is to deny-first and attack-later. Accepting the mistake (if there is any) can be less detrimental to the reputation of the company. Taking correcting actions upfront work well in keeping the chin up.

PR firms are on rise in India. Gauging the Indian market, and its idiosyncrasies and cultural sensitivity, there are so many challenges to make a difference.

Genesis Burston-Marsteller is a leading Public Relations Organization with a vast experience of handling public relations for some India's largest conglomerates.

For further details go to:

Source: EzineArticles
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