MONDAY 11 MAY 2015 3:19 PM


Crises provide the ultimate test for an organisation’s reputation and communications strategy. Jane Kroese, PR director at KISS PR, a public relations and communications agency, says that having a plan in place in case the worst does happen is crucial for brands.

Kroese says, “Some managers are reluctant to undertake crisis planning: crisis is by its nature unpredictable, making it difficult to know where to start. Acknowledging that you could face an emergency is uncomfortable, and it’s not always clear where crisis planning should fit among your day to day tasks.”

However, an unprepared brand caught up in a crises could suffer disastrous consequences both in terms of lost trust among stakeholders and negative impact on the bottom line. Reacting quickly and appropriately can not only limit damage to brand reputation it can actually improve it in the long run.

KISS PR suggests maintaining good relationships with stakeholders, including staff, neighbours and journalists, who may need to be called on in a crisis. The PR agency also recommends spotting and dealing with an issue before it escalates, identifying and training key spokespeople to deal with the media in the event of a crisis and creating a crisis team to take charge of all external communications.

The company should ensure that it goes to media first, rather than waiting for it to come to it and thus risk it getting its information elsewhere. Admitting to not having all of the answers is preferable to releasing false information in a hurry, but it is important to address false information as soon as possible recommends KISS PR.

A crises can occur at any time since many of the potential catalysts, such as issues in the supply chain or sector-wide challenges, may be out of the organisation's control or extremely difficult to police. Once it's been unleashed, the internet means that a crises can spiral out of control at a rapid pace, communications need to be immediate and round-the-clock. 


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