As a security or loss prevention professional, you are trained to deal with a myriad of crisis situations– from a violent crime occurring on your property to a significant loss of assets. Often high profile, these events can result in heightened media exposure, internal speculation , and public inquiry surrounding your company. CAP Index and its public relations firm, Buchanan Public Relations LLC, have collaborated to present the three key elements of an effective crisis management program, and quick tips on how a proactive public relations plan can help you achieve success.
•Use a single spokesperson: During times of crisis, it is imperative that one person act as the designated company spokesperson, usually the CEO. A public relations team can help identify and train this spokesperson pre-crisis. A good plan will span the development of pre-set Q & A, training in on-camera behavior, maintenance of crisis response and mitigation capability.
•Provide open, prompt and accurate communication to employees: One of the most important elements of crisis management is immediate and accurate response to internal stakeholders. A public relations team can help draft statements for intranet posting, as well as train the company spokesperson in effective employee-employer communication techniques. Message control is paramount: you don’t want your employees relying on outside news reports or word of mouth in times of crisis.
•Maintain open communication with external audiences: Often cited as the most significant element of crisis communication planning, maintaining an open, informed and positive relationship with journalists is crucial. A public relations team can help field and respond to media inquiries, issue press statements, and provide valuable counsel during times of increased stress and media scrutiny. PR professionals know the “right way” to tell your story, and can help navigate the often complex waters of media relations.
The security and loss prevention industry is often seen as a “hidden” specialty, with little access granted to the media and other publics. In times of crisis, however, it is imperative to engage both internal and external stakeholders in a knowledgeable, immediate and responsive dialogue. Public relations support can be invaluable in achieving this goal.