Insights · 30th of April, 2024 · 1 minute ·

Paring back the response to a crisis

The world of communications is more diverse and difficult to navigate than ever.

With the constant evolution of technology and increasing requirement for everyone to know everything as soon as possible, it’s critical businesses are prepared to respond as competently and as swiftly as possible in times of crises.

Because, whether we like it or not, shit happens, particularly when we least expect it. It’s how they deal with the bad stuff that sets people and organisations apart.

Communication is something everyone has an opinion on. It’s something we all do. All of the time. But despite all of us constantly communicating, we have to ensure it is being done properly and that it correctly portrays the message we want it to. This is particularly crucial when things go wrong, and it is during these periods that the role of communications professionals becomes a critical component of organisations.

How we react as people and as organisations to internal and external stakeholders when it hits the fan can make or break a company’s reputation. In short, messaging matters.

Without confident communicators you won’t have the backing of shareholders, employees or customers. These audiences need to be able to trust what you are saying and have trust in you to resolve the situation.

I’ve mentioned previously how trust is the most valuable currency a brand has, and with the rise of the camera phone and general digitalisation of our lives, news can spread faster than ever before.

And that’s a danger to us all, both in our day-to-day lives and when a crisis occurs. It is often footage from “citizen journalists” that is the first to appear in the event of a major news event, and it certainly has its place.

The trouble is that it is something that can easily get out of control. That’s the dangerous side. The side that quickly becomes the accepted truth. Traditional media clearly has its well-publicised flaws. But they are at least regulated and accountable for what they publish.

It’s scary how many people believe some of the stories they see online. While rumour has always been a thing, the way we live means it can travel further and, crucially, faster.

The world that we live in, that of untruths and desire for instantaneous information, means having a trusted, robust communications team is essential to the success of any organisation or high-profile individual. Or as they are more commonly known, brands.

But where do we start when a crisis occurs?

Regardless of what sector you are in, you will be well-used to acronyms. The one we most commonly associate with a crisis situation is PEAR – People. Environment. Asset. Reputation. And while most of our experience comes with the energy industry, I firmly believe the theory of communication stays the same regardless of the sector. It’s how it is done that differs.

Over a series of four blogs (see below) I’m going to pare back the acronym and delve a little deeper into what it all means, and how you can best deal with an issue that requires a swift response.

Insights · 30th of April, 2024 · 1 minute ·