The whole world could use a talented crisis manager right about now.
COVID-19 Coronavirus is spreading rapidly around the world and panic seems to be spreading faster than the disease itself.
As a marketing and public relations agency, we specialize in crisis management. We've had a busy month working with our clients to manage crises and create statements due to Coronavirus concerns.
In any crisis, there are clear principles that can apply to any company, government, or institution. We wanted to share some tips to get you started.
Steps to manage a crisis
Be sure to understand the three general crisis principles,
Get the facts (no fake news)
Communicate these facts responsibly
And know your audience (very important as it sets the tone of your message)
The first thing to do in an emergency is to “understand the facts of the situation.” Sounds easy, however, we are human, and our first instinct may be to panic and respond hastily. We recommend not to communicate when you are unsure of the information especially during any health emergency as facts are vital.
Poor communication can cause confusion and unnecessary fear. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are doing a great job in publishing information on the coronavirus however elected officials and local government may extract vital information hence lost in translation.
Steps to take after a crisis
After all is said and done, and life has returned to “normal” after any crisis is important to start strategizing immediately on how to restore your company’s procedures and productivity, while being alert not to allow the virus to re-emerge in the process.
Many companies have moved their entire workforce online need to plan a smooth transition back to a physical office environment. Particularly city governments who have placed cities on lockdown need to figure out how and when to let people resume their normal lives.
It is very important to look ahead and remember there’s a rainbow always after the rain.