When you are in charge, and something bad happens, instinct can serve you well, but not always.
Instinct can equip you to put out fires, the literal and figurative blazes, quickly and efficiently. As a business owner, or head of a community organization, that instinct is like gold. It can prevent a spark from growing into a conflagration.
Where instinct can let you down, however, is in dealing with the aftermath of a crisis. Your gut tells you to circle the wagons, swear people to secrecy, and give a terse “no comment” to the press, the public, and even your stakeholders. Bad idea.
How you handle problems says more about you as a leader than how great you look riding the biggest wave of success.
Matt Valentine of Goalcast recaps four major public relations crises, and how corporate leadership responded with integrity and transparency. A few things that rise to the top:
- They responded quickly.
- They responded like human beings, not corporations.
- They took a financial hit without flinching (at least publicly).
- They answered their stakeholders’ questions sooner rather than later.
The Apple v. FBI example is unique, but there are lessons that can transfer seamlessly to your business or organization. The non-corporate tone of its response to customers is especially impressive. The document is straightforward and easy to understand, but it doesn’t bog the reader down with too much detail. It quickly goes to the heart of the issue, and states Apple’s position clearly.
If your business or organization is facing a tough time, there’s no need to tell the public everything about the crisis, but it is important that you tell them something that is truthful and makes sense. I have experience with crisis communications, and would be happy to help you with this, and other public relations issues. Contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (502) 432-8725.