Be prepared before disaster strikes


Hurricane Harvey highlights need for manufacturing PR we hope you won’t need

A local journalist reporting from Rockport, Texas in the wake of horrible Hurricane Harvey probably spoke for most of the town when he described the scene as “surreal.”

Shipyards and other manufacturing facilities were wiped out or seriously damaged. The high school was virtually destroyed. Its athletic facilities were decimated. Businesses and homes were blown and flooded to fragments. It was among the most destructive hurricanes to hit the Texas coastline in half a century. Residents and business owners in Rockport knew it could happen, but by and large this was a disaster that usually happened elsewhere. But it finally happened there. And such a disaster could happen to you, or your manufacturing company.

Are you ready? How are you going to communicate with your employees if your manufacturing facility is destroyed? Electricity and cell service might not be restored for days, weeks or even longer. How are you going to communicate with your customers or the media? How will you express your condolences to your devastated community?

Ripley PR, a manufacturing public relations agency, has some solutions, and we hope they are never needed. We regularly craft crisis communications plans for our manufacturing clients so companies know what to do when the chips are down. In essence, we can lead leaders through a crisis.

Here are a few ways we can help:

  • Social media. If your employees or customers can access the Internet, Ripley can communicate with them via a social media platform such as Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. We are on call for our clients 24 hours a day. We can let your staff and customers know when they can return to work or when you can resume shipments or manufacturing for your own clients.
  • Media outreach. The types of crises vary, of course, but we can coordinate ahead of time your response to a range of calamities. If you need to craft a special statement to disseminate to the media, we’ll do that for you.
  • Information gathering. We can prepare plans ahead of time for communication with local law enforcement or public-safety officials to get you information about the state of your manufacturing facility or its immediate environment. We have journalists on staff who are experienced with disaster coverage, its aftermath and its intricacies.

Rebuilding your business, and the safety, livelihoods and well-being of your employees should be your priorities following a disaster that affects your manufacturing process. We can handle media inquiries, issue statements on your behalf and help you communicate with your staff and the public. Because one day you may face a “surreal” situation of your own.

Joel Davis, Content Supervisor

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