Seven Golden Rules for Managing Crisis Communication
“Refugees from Syria invade Europe”, “How to solve the refugee problem?”, “Is the EU ready to accept war refugees?”. Every day similar headlines appear in the press. Probably many people ask themselves: “Is there nothing else to talk about?”
Managing crisis communication is a critical organisational function. We live in a knowledge society in which nothing lasts and everything changes. Crisis has become a part of our lives. Whether it is an airplane catastrophe, an institutional crisis, a natural disaster, a nuclear accident, a terrorist incident, a dioxin affair, a stock market crash or a company closing down, crisis has become an everyday topic.
A crisis can be complex with unpredictable effects and can move fast. The most important thing to remember concerning a crisis communication strategy is that you should not begin to draft it once the crisis is there. Effective crisis communication is built on preparation.
It definitely involves a number of considerations about whom, when, what and how to communicate. A crisis should be managed by taking the right steps at the right moment and using the right tools. Here are seven tips for effectively handling a crisis situation:
Always be prepared!
During a crisis situation, it's often too late to start figuring out what to do. If you still do not have a plan, do not wait for a crisis to strike first. Every organisation needs a strategy to identify who says what. Identify a small team of people in your organisation as your crisis communication team. A written plan will save your time and will reduce the stress of the management, and allow them to focus on dealing with the situation when it's there.
Be transparent and honest!
Be consistent and stick to the facts!
Make use of digital and social media!
Seize the opportunity!
by Stavros Papagianneas,
Managing Director at StP Communications
With a background including positions such as communication officer at the European Commission and press officer and spokesperson to various diplomatic missions in Brussels, Stavros Papagianneas is currently managing director of public relations consultancy StP Communications. He is a senior communications expert with more than 20 years’ experience in strategic communications, public affairs, public relations, digital communication, social media and media relations . He has also been a member of the Working Party on Information of the Council of the European Union. He is the author of several articles in EU media like New Europe, L' Echo, Communication Director and Research Europe.
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