It’s easy to think of crisis communications only as news media, but a crisis within an organization has many touch points beyond the media. When a crisis occurs, or appears as though it could occur, 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, and works with the leadership of the client organization to craft a strategy and messages that target each audience in order of their priority.
In a crisis situation, our approach is to reveal as much information as possible/practical to ensure that each target audience is being given the most transparent picture possible. We work with our clients to balance transparency with the organization’s privacy and 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 your chances that the story is quickly dealt with and the media moves on to the next tragedy. 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 in Colorado generally, gives our clients a distinct advantage when facing a media crisis. We understand how different journalists and outlets are likely to react in a crisis, and the plans we build with our clients are built upon this knowledge. In addition, the trust journalists have in us gives our clients the best chance possible to air “their side” of the story in a crisis.
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.
When building crisis plans, we begin by assessing with our client what crisis situations are most likely, and build plans with them that prepare for these emergencies. We consider all potential audiences and build unique messages for each of them. We understand that a crisis may emerge that is completely unforeseen, so we provide our clients with crisis protocols that can address any crisis 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