Crisis Communications

Crisis Communications

London Crisis Communications Agency

At Curzon we know that a reputation is hard to build and easy to lose.

At Curzon PR we focus on building your presence through credibility. Starting with our in-depth strategy session we define our overall aims, proactive stages to raise your profile in the most sustainable long-term direction and counter measures to limit the risks of a crisis.

Our Crisis Communications services include:

  • Understanding and Assessing Risk
  • Developing and maintaining the right response toolkit
  • Messaging in a Crisis
  • Managing post-crisis fallout
Starting with an in-depth strategy session we map out the clearest risk-adverse path to your desired destination, with the appropriate response protocols particularly necessary during a crisis situation. Relying on our foresight and judgement to get you there safely and manage any post-crisis threat to reputation or licence to operate.

Crisis Communications

WHAT IS CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS?

Crisis communications is the mitigation of damage of your brands image by third party sources. It aims to protect the reputation of a brand by maintaining its public image.

There are 2 types of crisis:

Sudden Crisis

This is a situation which arises all of a sudden and at extremely short notice. There are no warning signals and such situations are in most cases beyond anyone’s control.

Smoldering Crisis

Often when minor issues are ignored, they can lead to a smoldering crisis later on due to action not being taken from the onset. There are several types of crisis which can tarnish the image of a brand:

1. Natural Disaster Crisis:

Disturbances in the environment and nature lead to natural disaster crisis.

2. Technological Crisis:

Technological crisis arises as a result of failure in technology. Problems in the overall systems lead to technological crisis.

3. Confrontation Crisis:

Acts like employee boycotts and strikes caused by internal disputes, ineffective communication, and lack of coordination give rise to confrontational crisis.

4. Crisis of Malevolence:

Sometimes employees may resort to criminal activities, acts of sabotage and extreme steps to fulfill their demands leads to a malevolence crisis.

5. Crisis of Organisational Misdeeds:

Crisis of organisational misdeeds arise when management takes certain decisions knowing the harmful consequences towards the stakeholders and external parties. These can include Crisis of Skewed Management Values, Crisis of Deception and Crisis of Management Misconduct.

6. Crisis due to Workplace Violence:

Such a type of crisis arises when employees are indulged in violent acts in the work place.

7. Crisis Due to Rumours:

Spreading false rumours by the competition or employees about brand lead can lead to a crisis.

8. Financial Crisis:

If a brand is in a financial crisis and is failing to pay its creditors and other third parties, this can lead to bankruptcy or liquidation.

Curzon PRs Crisis Communication team help fight against several challenges which harm the reputation and image of your brand.

HOW DOES CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS BENEFIT YOUR BRAND?

Crisis can have a negative effect on brand image. Our Crisis Communication’s team can help save your brand’s reputation against various threats and unwanted challenges.

Your brand’s identity is one of its most valuable assets. Crisis communication can protect your brand identity and maintain its firm standing within the industry.

It is important to remember:

1. Don’t ignore the problems:

There is nothing to be ashamed of. Media must not be ignored, but rather their questions answered in addition to a well thought out public statement.

2. Don’t criticise individuals:

Do not play a blame game with your employees, it is important that your brand has a united front when in a crisis.

3. Don’t create delays:

In a crisis situation it is important that you take quick action to minimise the damage to the reputation of your brand. It is important that one must respond quickly and effectively during unstable situations.

Having a crisis communication specialist means that you have the correct advisory to ensure that you are able to overcome tough times as well as maintain your brand’s reputation and position in the market.

Curzon PR can support you through our:

1. Expertise and Knowledge:

Using our expertise we will accurately analyse and audit the extent of the reputational damage to your brand. Very often in a crisis, stakeholders fill in gaps of knowledge with their own suspicions. It is important to take away that speculation with fact.

2. Efficient and Timely Communication:

We are able help you react and respond quickly, with the aim to putting out the fire before it spreads and gets out of control.

The steps that we will take during a crisis communications situation:

1. Focused Approach:

Our team of experts will take initiative and find out where things went wrong. Identify the problem areas and devise appropriate strategies to overcome the situation.

2. External Stakeholder Management:

We will work alongside your team to make sure the information that is going out to the public via the media is correct.

3. Internal Stakeholder Management:

It is important to remember that all information must flow across all departments accurately. Employees must be aware of what is happening within the organisation. Superiors must address employees on an open forum during critical situations.

4. Crisis Communications Plan:

Our team will and create a strategic crisis communications plan for your brand. It is important for you to be able to make quick decisions in a crisis situation, having this plan in place will allow you to be able to take immediate action.

THE PROCESS-STAGES AND TIMELINES

PRE-CRISIS

Month 1:

We will have an initial strategy meeting and brainstorming session with you to discuss your brand to better understand it. We will then carry out a vulnerability audit where we will research and identify all the possible crisis situations that your brand may face.

Month 2:

We will then work on creating a Crisis Response Document for you. This document will include both internal and external communications components. We will then help you create an internal crisis communications team, giving them the training on how to best to address the media in the event of a crisis. We will provide spokesperson training which will help you be prepared to respond to all stakeholders.

Month 3:

We will help you establish notification and monitoring systems.

Notification Systems:
It is important that you have to hand notification systems to reach internal and external stakeholders. Emails and social media are the best way of communication, as they are the fastest way to reach your stakeholders.

Monitoring Systems:
It is important that you have intelligence which can help you prevent a crisis and respond to a crisis. It is important that you know what is being said about your brand by the media, your employees, clients, and other stakeholders.

Month 4:

We will create holding statements for you. It is important to communicate with your stakeholders immediately in a crisis situation, to stay prepared, having holding statements means you are able to keep your stakeholders calm in the event of a crisis until you have assessed the situation and made key decisions on how you will be handling the issues.

DURING A CRISIS

In the event of a crisis our expert team will be there to ‘hand-hold’ you through the process of communicating with all your stakeholders.

  • We will help you asses the situation and determine the appropriate response using the pre-prepared holding statements.
  • We will work with your team to develop the crisis—specific key messages that are required in the situation.

POST CRISIS

We will then carry out a post-crisis analysis looking at what learnings we can take from the crisis and what improvements can be made to counteract future crisis situations.

It is important to remember:

  1. Never have the ‘it can’t happen to us attitude’
  2. Always be open and honest with our team, this will help them to strategically provide the best communications advice to you.
  3. In this technological era, messages can be sent in a matter of seconds and news spreads rapidly. It is important to get your message to all the stakeholders as quickly. Do not wait, the faster you act the more likely you will be able to contain the damage.

HOW DO WE MEASURE SUCCESS?

There are three elements we use to the measure the effectiveness of our crisis communications.

We analyse the following:

1. Measuring outputs and the effectiveness of your process:

The best way in which to do this is monitoring the media to see if your messages have been communicated and if so to whom?

2. Measuring impact:

Determining if the messages communicated to the stakeholders during the crisis had the desired effect.

3. Measuring outcomes:

In the long run, did our crisis communications positively impact your brand’s reputation, maintain customers’ intent to purchase? Retain employee’s (prevent high staff turnover)? Shareholder confidence? Etc.

DELIVERABLES

Our expert team will work with you to create:

  • A Crisis Communications Response Document
  • Holding statements for the identified possible crisis situations
  • Communications team and spokesperson training
  • Continuous advisory through a crisis situation

WHAT IS THE COST?

All our projects are bespoke and priced accordingly. You can get further information on prices by contacting our Joga Sangha from our business development team, joga@curzonpr.com or on T: +44 (0)20 3637 4830

FURTHER READING

You can read more about Crisis Communications in our PR Insider Blogs

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