You’re the boss. You’ve spent years building your company and establishing rules for employees to prevent a crisis. But what stands between you and a major blunder of your own? NBC’s Brian Williams is the most recent example of trouble at the top. As anchor and managing editor of “NBC Nightly News,” he has risked the network’s integrity and bottom line by repeating the “I was in harm’s way” helicopter story he knew to be false.
Don’t let yourself and your company down. Follow these three guidelines to prevent crises from happening and to stop the negative attention if a crisis does occur.
- Create talking points before you need them.
A media interview is an exciting opportunity for a CEO. Make the most of it. Always create talking points before you engage with media. Cover items to discuss and know the areas that are off limits. Chick-fil-a president Dan Cathy made a mistake when he stated in an interview that Chick-fil-a was “guilty as charged” in its stance against gay marriage. He blew it and he knew it. Cathy learned a lesson important to all CEOs: Personal feelings should be kept private.
- Everybody needs an editor.
The billion dollar fitness clothing company, Lululemon, needed a trusted advisor to review former CEO Chip Wilson’s controversial blog posts about women and their bodies. As the leader of the company, everything said is a reflection of the company. In today’s world, every word published is available forever. Reviewing written material before it’s published anywhere will help stop crises from occurring.
- Create a crisis plan.
Every company should have a crisis management plan in place. You never know if an employee, the CEO or just bad luck will create a crisis. A crisis plan identifies the potential threats to the company, creates talking points to address the media in the event of a crisis, and puts into place the team who will handle the crisis. Having a plan in place can prevent smoke from blazing into a fire.
Cindy Miller Communications has helped many companies through a crisis by crafting responses that lessen the immediate threat to the company. Our team creates crisis plans that are proactive, not reactive. Contact Cindy Miller Communications today to see how we can help before the crisis arises.