Using effective strategy and tactics to avoid, or at least minimize, the negative impact of pending or breaking crises. In essence, fire-fighting. Crisis response addresses the needs not only of external stakeholders, but also of employees — because every employee is a PR representative and crisis manager for your organization, whether you want them to be or not. Activities that are a subset of crisis response include:
- Key message preparation.
- Preparation of draft and/or final versions of internal and external communications with all of a client’s important audiences, including media (usually “behind the scenes” but on rare occasion serving as spokesperson for a client).
- Creation and/or coordination of Internet-based crisis-response activities, to include social media crisis management (more on that later).
- The use of online surveys and other tools to get immediate stakeholder perception feedback, during a breaking crisis, with the option of continuing to monitor perception post-crisis.
- On- or off-site oversight of client crisis response activities to the extent clients do not have specific capabilities in this area. De facto, acting as if Jonathan Bernstein or the Bernstein Crisis Management alternate consultant is the client’s “senior vice president of corporate communications” in the absence of such internal capability.
- Situation-specific media and presentation training.
- Close coordination with legal counsel when litigation or possible litigation is involved, to ensure all tactics and messages are compatible with legal strategy.
or write to Jonathan Bernstein