From the Desk of Wayne Schepens: Effective Crisis Communication Management


Effective crisis communications management is essential to a successful PR program. Viewed in the eye of the beholder, a crisis can arise from seemingly innocuous events. Regardless of its origin, each challenge to a client’s reputation must be met with a clear understanding of all the initiating problem’s facets. A comprehensive plan that considers all possible responses, reactions and outcomes with the intent of being as transparent as possible while delivering the truth and protecting the company and its stakeholders must be devised swiftly.

When confronting a crisis, creating a cross-functional team is important – PR, legal, marketing, investor relations, product management, etc. Diverse teams allow communication between parties who may have different priorities and concerns. Each point along the communications spectrum must be managed in a clear and concise manner. While easier said than done, staying composed during a crisis must be a company’s first order of business. Being reactionary introduces chaos and often complicates the issue. Additionally, in cases where there is potential for the crisis to catch the attention of the press, early engagement of the company’s PR agency will assure that expectations – internally and externally – are managed. 

During a crisis, our team goes the extra mile to make clients feel that their interests are protected and guarded. We understand the need to engage frequently, confidently and openly with the client and the media. When it’s time for our client to address the media, whether on the record, off the record, or on background, we advise them to be open, genuine and shoulder responsibility where necessary. We help them deliver clear, concise sound bites which go a long way to establish mutual respect between the reporter and client. The truth often diffuses hyperbole and shortens the news cycle, preserving the company’s reputation.

Author : Wayne Schepens