Opinion /

Top tips on managing a crisis

Crisis management, crisis communications, crisis PR

One of the key professional services provided by AM O’Sullivan PR is Crisis Management.  We offer clients a comprehensive advisory service on the preventative measures that can be taken to protect an organisation’s reputation in the event of a crisis.

AM O’Sullivan PR has extensive experience of handling crisis management situations across a wide range of industry sectors.

There is a long list of things to take into consideration in order to successfully manage a crisis situation.  One of the key dangers facing any business, and this applies whether a company is in a crisis situation or not, is the proliferation of social media. Negative stories can start to spread in seconds and it is critical to have a social media policy in place which can be activated during a crisis.

A crisis situation can range from job losses to a data breach to a workplace accident. No two incidents are the same and that is where the expertise of a PR company with experience in handling all types of crisis scenarios becomes invaluable.

For the purpose of this blog, we’ll use the example of a company announcing job losses. Please note that every situation is different and these are broad guidelines. For more help or advice, contact AM O’Sullivan PR.

One of the primary concerns in a crisis situation should be your employees. They are the people who will be most keenly impacted by a crisis and they must be managed extremely sensitively. The last thing an organisation needs is for employees to find out about a crisis before being officially informed by management. This is particularly important in the event of job losses. Employees shouldn’t read about it online, in a newspaper or whispered in a corridor.

The best advice in this situation is to be upfront when sharing the news. Before a decision is made to make employees redundant, a process has to be followed which can take a period of time. During the decision making process, employees may be aware that something is happening within the organisation. This could relate to previous cost cutting measures, redundancies or salary cuts. While it may not always be possible to tell employees all of the details regarding such a decision, saying nothing can be damaging to employee morale. The best advice in this situation is to give employees as much information as possible. Employees will appreciate an honest, direct approach and keeping the lines of communication open is critical.

When a difficult decision or announcement has to be made, it is important that employees are informed first, with external stakeholders and other interested parties provided with information once employees have been briefed. It is also advisable to provide a timeline so employees have all of the relevant information and are made aware of what will happen next.

Announcing job losses is a stressful time for all involved. Availing of the expertise and advice of the AM O’Sullivan PR team can help organisations avoid some of the pitfalls that can damage a company’s reputation.

Contact Us

Eoin Weldon is an Account Manager at AM O’Sullivan PR. He designs bespoke packages to suit the requirements and budgets of individuals, businesses and organisations. For more information contact Eoin at eoin@amosullivanpr.ie or call 086-8859905

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