Crisis response involves 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 both communications and operational assistance:
- 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.
- Monitoring audience perception.
- 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 a Bernstein Crisis Management 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.
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