What is crisis communication?
Crisis communication refers to the effort to minimize damage to your brand reputation inflicted by third party sources. Crisis communication focuses on managing negative earned media rather than acquiring press coverage.
Here are three important tips for successful crisis communication:
Provide accurate information: Sharing facts demonstrates your knowledge of and authority over the crisis, and quiets any rumors or negative word-of-mouth circling amongst the public. Without facts, people will make assumptions to explain what they don’t know, and when these assumptions spread, it becomes difficult for media and the general public to decipher guesses from truths.
Respond quickly: The longer you wait, the less reliable your information is. Acting quickly prevents false speculations from spreading too far, and lets you get a grip on the situation before it grows to an unmanageable level.
Accept responsibility: Take ownership of the crisis before others make accusations. Denying that your brand is at fault will not relieve you of the crisis; rather, it can set off a cycle of blame and cause the public to distrust you. If instead you acknowledge your mistake and describe the steps you’re taking to fix it and prevent further occurrences, you have a greater chance of earning the public’s trust and respect. When you demonstrate transparency, people are more inclined to accept the information you provide them, making the resolution process much smoother.