Advice from an expert with decades of crisis management consulting experience
In my 35+ years of crisis management consulting, I’ve made a some mistakes. And learned some important tips for being a better crisis management consultant. Here are my top five:
- Don’t assume you’re being told the whole story initially, particularly by people who may be perceived, ultimately, as “at fault.”
- Don’t automatically default to legal counsel if they initially disagree with your recommended approach. Legal counsel isn’t always used to thinking in terms of what’s best for the client’s reputation.
- Do understand the laws that are most relevant to the type of crisis management clients you typically serve, a corollary to tip #2. In the case of Bernstein Crisis Management, for example, we have to be talented amateurs about laws regarding defamation, intellectual property, food safety, discrimination and more.
- Do be the smartest person at the table with regard to the role of social media in crisis preparedness and response. Be prepared, in the process, to do a little arm-wrestling with current staff or non-crisis consultants who THINK they understand this topic.
- Understand how to keep your clients out of trouble, not just how to help them when stuff hits the fan. Fire inspectors save organizations a LOT more money than fire fighters.
Have some tips of your own about being a better crisis management consultant? Drop me a line, firstname.lastname@example.org, with permission to use your tip in a follow-up piece. Full credit to the authors of anything we use.