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Last week, Scott and I joined with Anne Buchanan, our PRGN partner in Philadelphia, to participate in a Twitter chat on crisis communications.

Lots of great dialogue regarding the role of the public relations practitioner before, during and after a crisis, planning ahead, who should serve as spokesperson, etc.

The chat was hosted by the Philadelphia PRSA chapter – the full transcript of the chat can be found here.

I took the time at the end of the chat to offer some advice.  Here are some of my ideas, please add some of your own.

  • Keep a chronology of the activities during a crisis. When resolved, review for future planning.
  • Have landline and cell numbers for all folks. Don’t rely on one or the other.
  • Use social media to communicate with your team. Think private Facebook groups, intranets, phone trees, group texts, etc.
  • Thank the media that were there for you during the crisis. Goes a long way in solidifying relationships.
  • Definitely do a debrief with the team. What worked, what didn't, what do we need to change.
  • Don't ignore the other stuff your company/organization is doing. Think about impact of the crisis on ongoing operations.
Abbie S. Fink
Abbie S. Fink
Vice President/General Manager Abbie has been doing public relations her whole life…from organizing a picket line in 6th grade to organizing client communications today. She’s passionate about a lot of things, you’ll see. Check out Abbie's full bio

2 Comments

  1. Some other advice:

    – Know EVERY detail regarding the crisis; leave no stone unturned. The more you know, the easier the crisis is to handle.
    – Reply immediately to all media – even if it’s just to say “no comment” or “we are not doing interviews at this time.” If there is an opportunity for an interview or comment at a later time, let them know you will be in touch.

  2. Dana Hughens says:

    Great advice, Abbie! If applicable, cooperate with the authorities and bring in outside experts to investigate the situation.

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