No company will ever be fully prepared for any crisis that impacts their business. The key is to develop a standard contingency plan to keep the public informed through the media on how your organisation is handling the crisis.
There are Ten Questions a Reporter Will Want to Know in a Hard News Situation:
- What happened?
- Why did it happen?
- Was anyone injured or affected from it?
- Could this have been prevented?
- Has this ever happened before?
- Currently, what are you doing about it?
- When will the problem be solved?
- How will you prevent this from happening again?
- Did you know this was going to happen?
- What would you like to say to those affected?
For Crisis Management, Have a designated person in your company to answer questions from the press. In an extreme crisis situation, the CEO or the Chairman of the company should preferably be the main spoke person in order to project an honest and open attitude.
When dealing with reporters from the tabloids, please ensure you handle tricky questions carefully. Never release information despite saying it’s “off the record”, because it will be published. Avoid being drawn into a situation where you have to answer a YES or NO. Be prepared for open ended questions and prepare a list of FAQs or Frequently-asked Questions.
Try your best to avoid having negative press publicity. The negative impact will remain in the minds of the public for a long time. Always remember if bad press happen once, it is an incident. If it happens twice, it is a coincidence. If it happens 3 times, it has a pattern! Having it 4 times means it has become a lifestyle!