Clark Hill Introduces Crisis Communication Services

Sep 12, 2017

Disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, cyber breaches, product flaws, etc., remind us of the extreme circumstances that impact organizations, making them vulnerable and devastating to the economy. Physical damages and brand integrity can suffer for days to even years after the event. It's crucial for businesses to be proactive with their crisis management and response plans so they can mitigate impact and return to normal operations as quickly as possible.

Creating a crisis management response plan will minimize negative reputational impact threatening your brand during a crisis while continuing to foster and strengthen the trust your stakeholders and community have in the organization.

Are You Prepared?

  • Does my organization have crisis management and response plans to manage potential crises?
  • Do our processes allow us to effectively manage our information/communication needs as issues arise?
  • What tools, structures, and resources do we have in place to proactively manage the situation and predict consequences?
  • Who is the designated spokesperson during a crisis, and do we have key talking points?
  • If my organization is not in the midst of a crisis, and does not have a plan, what can we do to be prepared for the future?
    • Identify the key people your organization needs to communicate with in order to minimize negative reputational impact on your brand
    • Identify communication channels that have available to reach those key people
    • Be prepared and do the work now.  Then, if crisis hits, you can focus on what matters the most: communicating effectively with those who matter most to your business.  

How We Can Help

Often times our clients think they are prepared--- until--- disaster strikes. Our crisis management response solutions allow our clients to take a proactive approach to minimize risk and ensure brand integrity.

What Can You Do Now?

  • Get the situation under control
  • Analyze the situation and gather relevant information (i.e. safety, security, ethical, legal ramifications)
  • Identify a spokesperson
  • Create talking points
    • What happened/is happening?
    • When did it happen?
    • Where did it happen?
    • Who/what was involved?
    • Where are those people now?
    • How dangerous is the situation?
    • What happens next?
  • Keep employees informed
    • Release information to your employees before, or at the same time it is released to the media
    • Keep information general in nature until you have all the facts
  • Communicate with the media
    • Keep the media updated regularly
    • Tell the full story as soon as you have it
    • Show your human side (i.e. apologize, extend condolences, prayers for the community, etc.) 
    • Communicate with the media

Best Practices:

  • Monitor the media and social media. Knowing what is being said will help you better communicate with your stakeholders. Monitor everything from Google, social media, customer service lines, email, etc. This gives your brand integrity and will help you address misconceptions, rumors, and speculation.
  • Listen and respond to complaints. Don't be defensive. Remain calm, and let people know the situation is in control.
  • Address the media honestly, quickly, and often. Don't avoid the media. Answer radio and TV stations first; newspapers last.
  • Don't let your employees learn about company news from the media. Use your internal communication channels to disseminate news to your employees early in the event. 

About Us:

We offer experienced public relations and brand management professional with hands-on experience developing and driving integrated marketing and public relations campaigns. Our areas of expertise include strategic marketing, brand reputation, crisis communications, advertising.

Contact:

Hillary Popejoy

Director of Marketing | Conrad Consulting Services

312.515.5086 | hpopejoy@conradconsultingservices.com 

John O'Connor

Director of Advanced Services | Clark Hill PLC

313.965.8293 | joconnor@clarkhill.com 

About Clark Hill

Clark Hill PLC provides distinctive solutions to a diverse range of businesses, public entities and individuals both nationally and internationally. Our talented attorneys and professionals use deep industry, policy and technical knowledge to provide innovative solutions to complex issues. Client's objectives always set the agenda and together we collaborate on strategies, put up defenses, cut through obstacles and connect to business opportunities to get the best results possible. Our purpose is clear, to provide the best client service and guide clients to paths that generate growth and success. For more information, visit www.clarkhill.com.