How to be media and crisis ready
If you or your organisation is suddenly facing a crisis, do you know how to respond? Do you have a crisis management plan in place so your executives, your communications teams, and your staff know what to do?
Being media and crisis ready is crucial to protecting your brand and your reputation. Responding quickly and knowing how to manage the media cycle will give you an advantage to minimise harm or damage.
“No comment” is not an option in these high-pressure situations as it often causes more harm, and a good PR agency can help you with the three pillars of crisis management: preparation, training, and activation.
A crisis or negative event is often unforeseen, but a proactive Crisis Management Plan can provide a step-by-step framework on what to say, when to say it, who is the best spokesperson for responding to the media, and who will contact internal and external stakeholders in a timely and effective way.
Having this strategy mapped out, tested, and ready to go gives employees not just the skills, but the confidence and assurance to face the challenge ahead. With careful preparation and planning, it is possible to control the narrative in such a way the result could see your reputation being enhanced rather than harmed.
A good public relations agency will take the time to get to know your business and potential areas of risk before working with management and your internal communications team to create key messages and documents as required for your Crisis Management Plan.
Crisis Media Training
One of the most important elements of being prepared for a crisis is to be media trained ahead of time. In times of crisis, it’s crucial to act quickly. If you are media trained and have the confidence to say “yes” to media opportunities, you are in a better position to control the narrative and therefore, protect your band and reputation.
It is vital to tell your side of the story. One of the worst things you can do in a crisis is to refuse requests for media interviews or say “no comment”.
“Saying “no comment” can be interpreted as an admission of guilt. It can make you appear untrustworthy, it can portray a lack of empathy, and it allows other people to speak for you,” she said.
“By mastering your media presentation skills, you are ready to protect you and your brand.
“Being proactive and ready to tell your side of the story is the best way to control your messaging and it allows journalists to produce a fair and balanced media report. It is vital to be transparent. Being open and honest helps to build trust and credibility.”
At Adoni Media, we provide practical coaching through “real life” scenarios simulated in front of a full-sized TV news camera or at the news desk of a working TV studio. We teach you how to manage a press conference, one-on-one interviews, a live cross, and a surprise ‘A Current Affair’ style doorstop question and answer session.
Once a spokesperson is media trained, they are ready for the next step: “crisis activation”. A PR team can mobilise staff to support your internal communication teams and executives by coordinating key elements of your Crisis Management Plan. This can include organising media conferences, writing media statements, preparing Q&As, and managing media enquiries.
“Having a Crisis Management Plan is one of the most important PR tools you can have in place to help protect your business. When every second counts, a plan gives management and staff a framework for how to respond to the media, internal stakeholders, and external stakeholders,” Ms Goddard said.
A Crisis Management Plan should also provide an outline on key actions and a list of documents that should be prepared ahead of any crisis.
“When a crisis hits, you only have 20 minutes to respond to be able to control the narrative and minimise the impact on your brand and your reputation.”
The team at Adoni Media has experience on both sides of crisis management. As senior journalists we have reported on crises, scandals, and terror attacks around the world and as media advisers and PR professionals, we have guided companies when they have been consumed by bad news.
To be media and crisis ready, reach out to us for a confidential discussion.