5 Don’ts for Crisis Management

Communicating in a crisis provides the single most important way that a company can instill a sense that the company has control. It also allows a business to restore consumer confidence moving forward. Making the necessary preparations beforehand goes a long way toward assuring that a company can handle any crisis thrown at them. One example of a poorly executed response to a crisis was seen recently with Findus, a Swedish frozen food distributor who recently came under fire after horsemeat was found in its beef lasagna meals.

Its response to the crisis was lacking, leading to reputational loss on its part. What can other companies learn from Findus’ mistakes and how can they apply those lessons learned to their own crisis management efforts? According to a recent article posted by http://insigniacomms.com, there are certain steps that companies can follow.

1.) Findus presented a statement on its Website detailing the current crisis. The problem arose from the fact that the response looks hastily put together, almost as if it was placed on the Website with no forethought to where it should go or even how it was designed. When thinking of which potential crisis could befall your company, crisis managers should consider how they will use their Website to communicate an effective response to that crisis. You could even go so far as designing templates to use when a crisis does happen.

2.) Findus failed to change, cancel, or delete advertisements on its Website proclaiming that they use “only the best ingredients” or that “you can trust us” next to a picture of beef lasagna. When facing a crisis, managers need to take a look at what the company represents to the world on its Website and remove any potentially harmful or damaging material as soon as possible.

3.) Lack of communication with concerned customers was another failing on the part of Findus, as its contact page was “currently unavailable” and the telephone number provided went to a recorded message. Companies in a crisis need to keep the lines of communication open. This can entail setting up communication channels beforehand to make sure that they work. The worst time to find out that communications don’t work is in the midst of a crisis.

4.) Findus’ lack of any sort of comprehensive social media presence has also led to a loss of reputation on the part of the company. Social media provides one sure way to reach a customer base when a crisis befalls a company. Rest assured, even if a company does not respond on social media, others will. It is better to control what information is put out about a situation than to have someone else do it for you.

5.) A final failing on the part of Findus in its current crisis deals with its refusal to provide a spokesperson. A spokesperson provides a face for your company. Through a spokesperson, a company can help shape the discussion about a crisis and inform customers and stockholders what will be done to deal with the crisis. Furthermore, a company should appoint a spokesperson beforehand and have a list of canned responses ready.

For more information about how to handle a company crisis, visit: http://insigniacomms.com/crisis-planning-shutting-the-stable-door-before-the-horse-has-bolted/