Have you ever worried about making a business mistake that could destroy your company’s good name? 

Because of this possibility, many businesses are cautious about their public relations. Luckily, there are ways to prevent a crisis from happening.

💡 Read Crisis Management 101: How to Save Your Business When a Crisis Strikes

The blog below explains what crisis management plan is and how to implement it.

What is Crisis Management?

Crisis management uses specific management strategies to skillfully deal with sudden and significant adverse events for the company.

These events can be different, resulting from the consequences of your actions or an unpredictable event. However, you should be ready to make quick decisions that minimize damage in either case.

For instance, the damage could be done to the safety, health of employees, the organization’s finances, and, of course, a company’s reputation.

Therefore, it would be best to prepare and become effective in your actions for these and many other possible options.

The purpose of crisis management is to know if any crisis is on the way to prevent it from happening. Once a crisis occurs, stick to your crisis management strategy to put out the fire quickly. Let’s see how to create such a strategy.

Crisis management is a long process, and you should put it into action before potential damage is already done. Of course, it aims to minimize post-crisis damage and to practice crisis management both before, during, and after an adverse event occurs.

Crisis management
Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

The First Rule of Crisis Management: Know What is Being Said About You

When talking about the main crisis management principles, it’s worth emphasizing your responsibility to the public. A hidden crisis can damage your reputation, and negative public opinions that usually form when a PR crisis occurs can ruin your trustworthiness. That’s why it is crucial to react immediately. Additionally, a quick response to the public will make the message more visible and credible. 

Posting information about the situation on your social media profiles and sending an e-mail to your customers is excellent to keep your audience up-to-date. By doing so, you reduce the risk of losing their trust. And, losing your customers’ trust could mean they also stop using your products or services, which could be another disaster you can suffer in a PR crisis. 

To coin a robust crisis management plan, it’s crucial to monitor what is being said about your company online on an ongoing basis. You need to know how much negative and positive feedback you achieve daily and be on alert if your reputation starts declining.

Furthermore, it’s important to nurture specific skills which will help you deal with a crisis successfully.

Read 7 Corporate Crisis Examples and Ways to Manage Them

Important Crisis Management Skills

Regardless of the situation, people responsible for dealing with a crisis should demonstrate several universal skills for any potential problem. 

Read 3 Powerful Good Crisis Management Examples

Self-control

Avoid panic at all costs. Emotional decisions will cause more chaos. It is essential to maintain a clarity of mind, which helps make rational decisions and effectively solve any problem.

Communication

Time is vital in a crisis, so the person responsible must communicate clearly and straightforwardly. This way, colleagues will take their actions faster and remain calm. Effective communication powerfully translates into the quality of teamwork. An emergency staff meeting to communication with your team is powerful mechanism to manage your team during this period.

Creativity

A crisis will never be a templated, simple case. Creativity is important when the problem is demanding. You have to think on your feet and develop a quick and effective action. 

Using your creativity will also allow you to look at the matter from different perspectives, leading to a factual assessment of the situation.

Relationship management

If a crisis means a conflict with another company or a person, your position must be friendly but firm. Patience and understanding in such a situation are the keys to both sides’ alliance. As a result, negotiations can go more straightforward and better than you expected.

Adaptation

Even if you have handled previous PR crises without any complaints, your solutions may not work in the current case. So, it’s worth accepting the opinion of other colleagues. Diversity of view in a team is a positive and significant contribution to problem-solving.

Once you sharpen these skills, you are ready to execute crisis management methods.

Crisis management meeting at the office
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels

Five Methods to Manage a Crisis Effectively

1. Remain calm

Peace of mind makes you more rational. It will work out better than decisions made under the influence of negative emotions and panic.

2. Act fast

Don’t wait! Stay up to date with your reports and inform your recipients about any problems that arise. Real-time notifications from Determ will help you with this.

3. Communicate with all relevant parties

Take the opinion of others into account, thanks to which you will eliminate as many errors as possible and further consequences resulting from the crisis.

4. Take responsibility

Be mature and make no excuses. Instead, take responsibility for your shoulders by providing specific data. Otherwise, audiences may think you want to avoid any consequences.

5. Evaluate the results and make necessary changes

Evaluate user activity on an ongoing basis and react when it is needed. Thanks to Determ’s Reports, you will form an objective picture of the situation to suggest more solutions and positive actions.

Steps to a Successful Crisis Management Plan

Once you have the right skills and know the suitable methods for handling a crisis, you can start forming your crisis management plan.

A crisis management plan is a reference tool. It contains a list of critical contact information. It helps in gathering information and sources that you can refer to. Such activities can significantly save your time when every minute counts.

Step 1: Form a crisis management team

The crisis management team should include people dealing with public relations, security, human resources, finance, security, and legal aspects of your business. Having people from various teams in your crisis management team will enrich your efforts with different perspectives. That can help you create a rational response to multiple crises while keeping multiple aspects in mind – from the HR perspective to the financial outlook of your response.

Step 2: Assess risk potential

Assess which elements of your company may be most exposed to a potential crisis. First, consider even the least apparent options when doing your in-depth research. Then, identify all aspects that might be relevant and analyze them together with your team members.

Step 3: Calculate the impact

Find out the impact of each action and what consequences they may have. Maybe the crisis will not affect the rest of the company’s aspects, but the situation brings another problem. Be patient and have a thorough cause-and-effect analysis.

Step 4: Create a response plan

Your response to a crisis must be quick. Reply within the first few hours of the beginning of a crisis. Of course, this puts high pressure on the people responsible for preparing such a message. 

However, remember that the media often fill your gaps in information with false data. You must present your version of the event(s) with accurate data and information that will be hard to question because there is evidence for them. Doing this will make your audience aware that you control the situation and make them gain deeper trust and respect for you. To have all the vital information in the palm of your hand in only a few seconds – turn to media monitoring. If it concerns cybersecurity, you may want to consider keeping an eye on identity theft monitoring too.  

Step 5: Create a crisis monitoring system

Besides having the skills mentioned above and people from various company departments in your crisis management team, it is also crucial to always know what the public thinks of your company to form a good crisis response.

As we’ve mentioned above, to have a great crisis management plan, it is essential to constantly be in the know about your company’s public perception and the overall trends in your industry to respond to any negative feedback. It’s almost impossible and very time-consuming to do this manually, so to get started with crisis monitoring, it’s crucial to use an excellent media monitoring tool, such as Determ.

Media monitoring tools monitor the web for mentions of your desired keywords and should be your go-to helpers in preventing and reacting to a PR crisis.

How to use Determ for crisis management

Set up a query 

To gather important information about your company, competitors, etc., start by setting up your queries of interest in Determ. You can search for keywords such as brand name, hashtag, or topic. 

query setup in determ
Determ query setup

Then, create quick filters, which will allow you to filter out your results by sentiment, influencers, sources, authors, locations, reach, virality, etc. This way, you will ensure quick, focused, and advanced research.

Search results in media monitoring tool for crisis management
Determ filters
Turn on Alerts 

Determ will allow you to receive alerts in real-time, including notifications about mentions on portals such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, websites, blogs, and forums. You can create two kinds of Alerts based on your needs. Smart alerts are notifications sent for every mention that fulfils specific criteria, and spike alerts are notifications that are sent out whenever there is an unusual increase of mentions over a period of time.

In addition, you can set up spike alert emails. They not only notifies you of trending topics but also highlight posts that may have triggered the increase in mentions. This feature provides immediate context, empowering you to take action or refine your strategies. The Spike Alert dashboard comprises a range of informative graphs and a concise Synthia summary for an in-depth analysis of the situation.

Another type of alerts are Net Sentiment Spike Alerts, which can also come in handy to detect a crisis, since they are triggered when sentiment around a specific topic related to a keyword significantly shifts. So for example if you’re tracking your brand and receive a Net Sentiment Spike Alert because there’s an instant surge in negative mentions, you might want to take a look immediately what happened and why.

Alerting spike-alerts dashboard
Create alerts in Determ
Make use of Digests 

With Determ, you can also create daily summaries that will help you create a reliable report and objectively assess the state of a crisis.

digests-determ
Determ digests

Step 6: Prepare a social media action plan

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to ignore the possibility of reacting on your social media profiles. Nowadays, social media has a significant impact on your audience, and it is the easiest way to reach out to the public. Social media channels are also the easiest way for the public to express their opinion in a crisis. To avoid the culmination of negative feedback, publish a statement about your case via social media as soon as a crisis occurs.

Determ will inform you about all critical online buzz surrounding your keywords of interest on social media. 

Media monitoring tool analytics
Determ reports

Start Tracking Your Online Mentions Today

To successfully cope with effectively managing a crisis, you must consider many factors. Starting from your attitude, quick reaction, and adequate communication with automated tools. First of all, remember to:

  • Assess the level of risk,
  • Choose the right team,
  • Have a rapid response to the crisis,
  • Analyze and create reports on your activities

A rising crisis can significantly impact your business, so it’s worth taking precautions. Determ will help you meticulously track what is being said about you online. With all the crucial information and analyses, you will be ready to prevent and resolve possible crises.

Book a demo with one of our experts and test out the tool. See why Determ should be your go-to helper in crisis management.

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