HollyToday  I continue my 6 Days of Christmas for Managing Digital Communications! For the next 2 Days I’ll be recommending what I feel are the most valuable tools or concepts for social media and digital campaigns.

On the fourth day of Christmas I recommend to you: Understand Crisis Management

Too often, public relations professionals for companies and organizations make the mistake of waiting for a public relations crisis to happen before they ever begin to think of crisis management. Crisis management will not be effective if you wait until a crisis occurs and then address the issue. When you’re ill prepared for a crisis, the public will not give  you time to catch up. It’s difficult in the best of circumstances to overcome an embarrassing news article, tv clip, or viral blog about your company. If you wait until the crisis occurs to think of ways to manage it then it will be downright impossible to overcome your blunder.

Instead, anticipate possible attacks and criticisms against your company. All good public relations professionals should be able to see the possible “holes” or negatives in their company’s image. If you know your organization well enough, it should be easy for you to pinpoint them. Once you know what these flaws may be, start addressing the potential ways to manage each one before there is even a possibility for a crisis to occur. Start drafting company statements, compile lists of resources for who news outlets should contact, create traditional and social media press releases, start planning ways to negate the crisis through photos and videos that will be distributed on social media sites, locate bloggers who will be valuable resources to reach out to during the crisis, start bolstering you defenses by drafting statements for social media outlets, etc.

In today’s day and age, the luxury of being able to wait to release a statement or to provide your own evidence does not exist. Resources need to already exist so you can turn a crisis into yesterday’s news. The best way to do this is to start planning now, before someone tries to take down your company’s defenses.

HollySo my plans are  to travel tomorrow, how about all of you? Anyone continuing their festive celebrations?