As those who know me will attest, I am a massive fan of Games of Thrones and was considering how I could weave a GoT story line into a blog on crisis management. And then I spotted this article which did just that!
But of more relevance to me was the phrase 'you know nothing Jon Snow' highlighting one of the key lessons we delivered in a very successful crisis training session we recently ran. The client had a good crisis manual, containing potential crisis scenarios, practical guidance and stakeholders to contact etc. Sadly not all the management team were familiar with the document - which is why the PR Director wanted to run through crisis situations.
Two things - a great well done to my team who created such a good scenario that if felt like a real crisis in the 'room' with people pacing up and down. And the reason for the tension was the realisation that when a crisis happens, you simply do not know all the information straight away; it comes in dribs and drabs and yet with the advent of social media, the calls come in thick and fast.
I don't necessarily agree that you cannot do a statement straight away - you can but have to just deal with what you know and update it when you have more information. Transparency and honesty are vital - speculation plays no part in crisis communications.
You know nothing, Jon Snow It’s impossible to react properly to a crisis until you have all the facts. Issuing a premature statement or denying involvement before all the facts are in just guarantees more trouble. The first step once you’ve learned about a crisis is to perform a situational analysis. For example: What is the basic narrative of the incident? What do the media and the public at large believe happened? If the two questions above have completely different answers, what can you do to bridge the gap between reality and perception? Which communications channels are in need of your immediate attention? How many people are talking about it online and in the media? What is the public reaction to the incident?