Effective Crisis Response for the CEO, Employee, and Organization

How we respond vocally to a crisis can say as much about us as the way we respond physically. Whether it is holding back information with the media or asking employees not to talk publicly about the situation and reprimanding them when they do, certain actions lead to a general distrust of an organization, including the notion that a cover-up might be in the works. And while company representatives usually just try to control a situation without any type of malicious intent, responding in a suspicious manner can do irreparable harm to a business’ reputation, according to a report by www.business2community.com.

Instead of trying to control the information that is released, crisis managers should focus on getting out the company line on the current situation. They should acknowledge publicly the seriousness and urgency of the situation and address the situation before someone else does. Typically, in the absence of solid information, an outsider will inevitably step in and contribute their own spin on an event, whether the information is true or not. So, step in and make it known where your business stands during a crisis, even if it is to acknowledge that a crisis has happened.

As far as the responses expected of the individuals within the organization, and even the organization itself, they should do the following:

Employees

The best thing that the company employee can do during a crisis is to avoid discussing the situation in public. To this end, organizations should provide employees an outlet with which to speak out their views on the crisis, offer ideas, and to air any frustrations they might have. And when employees do publicly criticize a company’s response, company leaders should not punish the offender, but should instead give a response just like they would from any other source.

Organizations

An organization’s response in a crisis begins even before a crisis happens. The response of a company in a disaster is colored by the beliefs and views they hold as stated within their handbook, any pamphlets they might give out, and on the company website. Adhering to these values and mission statements is important, especially in a crisis situation.

CEOs

Finally, CEOs play a very important role in crisis management. They are the spokesperson of the company and should be a visible and sometimes vocal part in dealing with a crisis. On the other hand, they should not be too connected to a crisis, taking on the role as sole spokesperson for example, or they run the risk of becoming a convenient scapegoat once the crisis is over. This is especially true if a message given is misunderstood and comes across in a way not intended.

For more information about how organizations and employees should deal with crises, visit: http://www.business2community.com/public-relations/crisis-communications-and-the-global-war-on-terrorism-0312232