It’s easy to think of crisis communications only as minimizing damage in front of the news media, but a crisis within an organization has many touch points. When a crisis occurs, or appears likely, organizations have many audiences to consider – board members, directors, managers, front-line staff, partner organizations, regulatory agencies, law enforcement, clients and, of course, the news media.
Not unlike a hospital ER team prioritizes patients, our team works quickly to determine which audiences are most critical to address in a crisis. We work with our client organization’s leadership to craft a strategy and messages that target each audience in order of their priority.
Our approach is to reveal as much information as is possible and practical, to ensure that each target audience is being given the most transparent picture possible. We work with our clients to balance transparency with privacy and the protection of proprietary or confidential information.
Media Relations During a Crisis
In a media crisis, it’s critical to have outside media counsel to assist your organization in responding to news media inquiries, and in building a high-level plan that will carry your organization through the crisis to solid ground.
There is often no way to avoid the negative coverage that occurs after an incident. What you can do is create an execute a crisis communications plan that improves the chance that a story is dealt with efficiently and the media moves on quickly. Being as transparent as possible and owning – to the extent your lawyers will allow – your role in the incident helps the media more quickly digest the story and preserves – to the extent possible – your good reputation.
Our long-standing relationship with reporters in the Denver Metro-area, and across Colorado, gives our clients a distinct advantage when facing a media crisis. We understand how different journalists and outlets are likely to react, and we build plans with our clients based on this knowledge. Journalists trust us. This gives our clients the best chance possible to air “their side” of the story in a crisis.
Responding effectively to a crisis often means preparing for one, and we have been honored to help many organizations build crisis plans. It’s gratifying us to when our clients can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing their organization is prepared for whatever might come their way.
We begin by assessing which crisis situations are most likely for each client, then we prepare for such emergencies by considering all potential audiences and building unique messages for each. We also understand that unforeseen crises may emerge, so we provide clients with protocols to address any situation.
Some of the crisis situations we’ve planned for and responded to:
- Data Breach
- Unexpected Executive Turnover
- Financial Malfeasance
- Criminal Impropriety By A Board Member
- Power Outage
- Computer Outage
- Patients Put at Risk By Possible Needle Contamination