Monday, June 19, 2017

Crisis Response Strategy - What the Professionals Know

Crisis Response Strategy

Many a time when dealing with a crisis, crisis communicators search for a single counter message to rebut the issue. While in most cases there will be this single message, in more complex scenarios, a single counter message may not exist. In such scenarios, a two-phase response would be required.

crisis response strategy


Let us take the example of a malicious statement by a respected personality against your organization. Most organizations would immediately attack the personality’s credibility and dispute the statement. In our opinion, this is not a good approach. This is because the personality is respected and thus, much of what you say would be dismissed. Such an approach may also be perceived as your organization’s attempt at character assassination which will be serious consequences on your brand and reputation.  

At CW Fong & Associates, we would recommend that organizations adopt a 2-phase approach to countering the malicious statement. In phase 1, the objective of the messages would be to factually dispute the contents of the malicious statement. Once the validity and accuracy of the contents have been proven false, phase 2 can be conducted to discredit the personality. If you had successfully disputed the contents of the malicious statement, your subsequent messages aimed at discrediting the personality will be more effective.

Some PR professionals might argue that you can do both at the same time. This is true. We are not saying that you cannot do both simultaneously. We are just suggesting that: (a) having a magic bullet may not always be possible and; (b) sometimes it may be more effective to adopt a 2-phase strategy in your crisis communications plan. 

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