Knowing in advance how you’re going to handle a crisis has never been more important. Even the worst situations, handled correctly, can be turned into something positive.
In franchise public relations, this is even more important because if something bad happens at one franchise location, it impacts the entire brand. Fair or not, an incident at a well-known chain would be more widely reported than the same incident at a small local business.
Responsible franchisors already have a crisis communications plan in place. Entering the new year, it’s a good idea to revisit that plan to make sure it’s still relevant and accurate.
Crisis management has changed dramatically in the past 10 years. Because of online media, we now have a 24-hour news cycle. No more waiting with bated breath for the morning paper to land on your doorstep. Minutes after an event happens, the headlines are online. More and more, consumers are looking on Twitter or Facebook for their news updates.
Here are some things to think about as you take a look at your plan and decide if it needs revamping or not.
- Where do your customers and stakeholders get their news? Maybe it’s Facebook. Maybe it’s your own website. Maybe it’s Fox News. When you find that out, make sure your crisis communications plan addresses those prominently.
- Is your list of designated spokespeople still accurate? Maybe you’ve just hired an articulate new subject matter expert. Maybe you’ve had a shakeup in top management. Sign those people up for media training and list their names in your plan.
- Is your contact list up to date? In a crisis, you have to tell the truth, and quickly. Check your distribution lists to make sure they’re up to date. Having the wrong phone numbers or email addresses results in precious time spent to get it right. Head that off by doing it now.
At Ripley PR, we leverage new technology and media habits to your advantage, so we can create a strategy for you that will help your business react to a crisis in a timely, efficient manner and preserve key stakeholder relationships. Give us a call today to find out how we can help you.