10 Steps to Deal with a Crisis
Life happens. The most important thing to remember in a crisis is that it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. And always hire a trustworthy and experienced Public Relations Firm. This is not something you want to deal with alone. And always remember that people are quick to forgive people who admit their mistakes… but not so quick to forgive liars. It’s always the cover-up that really gets you.
- Prevent it. This is a pre-crisis step, obviously, and it calls upon the foresight to consider how things potentially could go wrong. Although this may seem like a basic skill, it is surprising how many people have difficulty spotting the vulnerable areas in their lives.
- Stabilize the situation. The crisis has happened. Now you need to assert control, isolate the problem, and minimize the damage as much as possible.
- Inform your clients/family/boss. ASAP. The bad news will not improve with time.
- Control your concerns. You want to react, but don’t make the mistake of overreacting. Don’t let your worries carry you into unrealistic fears.
- Consult and coordinate. Bring in aid, in terms of both resources and perspective. Make sure those who need to know are filled in and included.
- Don’t act in haste. “Haste” is relative to the gravity and potential gravity of the crisis. To the best of your abilities, don’t let the speed of your response detract from its effectiveness.
- Put together a core team to handle the matter. You don’t want a crisis to consume the attention and energy of everyone working around you. The smaller the group handling the issue, the less room there is for further error.
- Establish a central contact or group for information. This can reduce rumors while producing a coherent view of what is transpiring. The person or group you choose should be one that has no emotional tie to the situation and can work effectively under pressure.
- Beware of fatigue. If you keep the same team or group in place for too long, its members will become less efficient. Have a relief team ready for backup.
- Don’t forget your core principles. Stress and confusion may lead you astray. Keep your ethics in mind and beware of any short-term victories that may cause long-term pain.