Advice to get a crisis communication blueprint in place for your manufacturing business
Having a crisis communication plan is an unfortunate necessity for any business, especially manufacturing companies. The manufacturing public relations professionals at Ripley PR compiled a list of five things to keep in mind for your crisis communication plan.
1. Define what “crisis” means to your business
Any situation that threatens the reputation of your business can be seen as a crisis. It might attract negative media attention, and without defining what a crisis for your business could be, you might end up handling the situation inappropriately, damaging the reputation of the company for good. Take the time to think of example scenarios which might attract negative media attention to your business. Examples include website or data servers being hacked, a trainee accusing one of your senior trainers of sexual harassment, or a chemical spill at one of your plants.
2. Be prepared
Create a plan or blueprint of how your manufacturing business will handle any crisis situation. Handled correctly, the damage can be minimized. The crisis communication plan (or policy) should be easily accessible to key personnel in the event that something happens. It is advisable to schedule training and briefing sessions with employees to make sure everyone knows what to expect and what they need to do in crisis communication situations.
3. Choose a crisis communication team ahead of time
This includes a spokesperson. The crisis communication team identifies what actions should be taken, given the crisis situation. The team should consist of individuals who are key to the situation, for example, the CEO, the director of communications, and the general manager of your business. If you’re working with a PR agency like Ripley PR, you’ll have one of the Ripley PR professionals on your crisis communication team.
4. Think about your messaging
This is where “Tell it all, tell it fast and tell the truth” begins. You must have a prepared statement on hand that can be used to make an initial general response to the media when knowledge about the crisis first becomes known on a widespread basis. Statements will vary from one situation to the other, but it’s important to at least have an idea of what statements should look like, in case disaster strikes. Don’t overreach and don’t speculate. As information becomes available additional statements and briefings can be made.
5. Identify who you will need to address
Identify your key audiences or groups, and what the most appropriate way will be to communicate with them. Audiences include internal employees, customers, trade media, investors and more. Depending on the crisis situation, you’ll need a statement for each of your key audiences to try and minimize the impact of a crisis on your company’s reputation.
For more tips and advice about crisis communication and how Ripley PR can help you manage your reputation during a crisis situation, contact us today.