In the Name of a Crisis, Part I

Picture this: disaster strikes, your product fails or your encounter an economic meltdown. How does your brand react?

Most business owners are naive when it comes to the topic of crisis planning. Either they think nothing bad will ever happen to their business or they assume that whatever the crisis is, it will be so unexpected that planning won’t do much good.

Wrong! Particularly in today’s 24/7 world of communications, where Twitter means that you might find out about a problem FROM your customers or clients, being prepared to address a challenge quickly in a crisis is the key to maintaining trust. And though technology means the ways you can communicate will continue to change, there are some hard and fast rules about communicating in a crisis that will always hold true.

Part 1: Anticipate the Crisis

How should a brand plan for a crisis?
A crisis is different for every brand—at Moxie, we define a crisis as anything that can negatively affect a company’s reputation or bottom line, impacting the trust of the company and/or their product. We recommend companies prepare a general crisis plan, which will help to create a more specific strategy should brand damage occur. Plus, brands should anticipate and evaluate potential crises that could impact them – natural disasters, technology failures, criminal issues, hazardous materials, product recalls, safety issues, economic meltdowns, etc. – and identify processes and procedures to address these situations before they happen. Once these potential crises are identified, they should be prioritized accordingly, considering worst case scenarios; some companies (depending on their industry and nature of services) will even implement mock drills to execute these plans (including verifying the correct media people to contact, etc.).

Look for Part II of this blog series next week: In the Name of a Crisis, Planning for the Worst