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Planning for the Unplanned

There is a series of steps that your company can take to educate and train line managers and communicators to deal with situations amplified by intense media scrutiny pose serious threats to your brand.

We believe that dealing with crisis is all about behavior. It isn't about uttering the best sound byte or issuing the most eloquently spun press release. In the media-centric world where we all operate, reporters make a living comparing what you say with what you do. If the two donTt match, key constituents lose confidence and you lose business.

It follows that crisis is also about media; and that means a spotlight on the business brand in question. If we agree that crisis occurs when a bad thing is poorly handled -- i.e. the behavior is suspect -- then the negatives usually redound not only to the company but also to the individuals involved. Neither focus will produce outcomes that support the brand. That's why there is no substitute for planning for the unplanned. Thinking ahead about the issues and how to behave if confronted with them in the court of public opinion is an exercise that can save time, money and long-range brand equity.

When considering crisis, management has remarkably similar objectives no matter what industry the company is involved with. The first, ideally, is to prevent crisis altogether. The second, if a crisis does occur, is to mitigate the negative effects. The third, through management behavior, is to provide a platform for the company's future.

Reacting Effectively to Crisis
Three Most Common Mistakes
Sample Crisis Training Program

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