What Not to Do When it Comes to Crisis Communications

When it comes to crisis communications, there is such a thing as bad press. At mumbrella.com.au, Tony Jaques, director of crisis management firm Issue Outcomes Pty Ltd talked to US crisis expert Jonathan Bernstein to cover off 13 of the worst mistakes your company can make in terms of crisis management.

Bernstein’s top 13 mistakes, in order, were:

1. Play Ostrich — stick your head in the sand.

2. Only Start Work on a Potential Crisis Situation After It’s Public — don’t prepare.

3. Let Your Reputation Speak for You — don’t get other messaging in play.

4. Treat the Media Like the Enemy — antagonize reporters.

5. Get Stuck in Reaction Mode Versus Getting Proactive — just get defensive.

6. Use Language Your Audience Doesn’t Understand — use jargon.

7. Don’t Listen to Your Stakeholders — don’t communicate with those in the know.

8. Assume That Truth Will Triumph over All — ignore the damage of perceptions.

9. Address Only Issues and Ignore Feelings — don’t deal with people’s upset reactions.

10. Make Only Written Statements — appear impersonal.

11. Use ‘Best Guess’ Methods of Assessing Damage — overreact.

12. Ignore Social Media — don’t see how people are reacting over Twitter and Facebook.

13. Do the Same Thing Over and Over Again Expecting Different Results — repeat at will, even if it’s not working.