By Todd Aberman, writing for PublicRelay
A company can build up a great brand reputation one day, only to have an unforeseen PR crisis tarnish its brand the next day. Effective crisis management can not only mitigate the negative impact that such an event causes, but also has the potential to build up a company’s brand reputation in the long run. Organizations will inevitably face crises, so they must prepare for the unexpected and know when and how to respond under pressure.
We recently spoke with Choice Hotels VP of External Communications and Public Relations, Lorri Christou and Prudential Financial VP of Global Communications, Allyson Hugley about the essentials of top-notch crisis and risk management. Our guests shared valuable insights on how to plan proactively, how to determine the impact of a crisis, and how to respond appropriately.
No matter the industry, company size, or business model, every organization must have protocol set in stone in case of a crisis. Christou found herself amidst a crisis soon after she had started working at Choice, and on a Saturday no less. Upon realizing that the company’s crisis plan was outdated, unactionable, and impractical, Christou set out to better prepare the organization moving forward.
Starting from scratch to develop an actionable crisis plan, Christou created an enterprise-wide crisis management response team (CMRT), which ensures that the right people are in the right places to provide fast and seamless responses. Furthermore, she recommends training the CMRT appropriately and implementing a call platform, so that when the time comes, there are people throughout the organization that know what to do and how to contact one another. Annual tabletop drills, which test and improve defined processes, are also conducted to ensure that the crisis plan works and does so efficiently.
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