I just read a very common sensical article in PRSA’s Tactics (April 2009) written by Michael L. Herman, APR titled “A cowboy’s guide to crisis management.”  PR professionals need to get it and read it (too bad it isn’t available online).

Not sure I fully appreciate the “cowboy” angle, but plenty of wise words nonetheless.  No doubt derived from years of experience.crisis41

Of course, Herman and virtually all professional communicators are strong advocates for the need to have crisis communications plans in place BEFORE the crisis hits.  Consider these common elements to most crises:

  • They are usually a surprise
  • They take control away from you
  • They attract public scrutiny
  • They are time-senstive and time-intensive
  • They threaten reputation, stability, financial health, competitive position, project viability and even the continued existence of an organization.

Serious stuff.  So, why have a plan in place in advance? 

Well, look in the mirror and ask yourself if you have purchased life or health insurance policies.  Chances are you said YES.

Now, ask yourself if you ever want to use the insurance you purchased.  Odds are the answer is HECK NO.  But, you bought it anyway, just in case.

Well, the same goes for investing in developing and then maintaining a crisis communications plan.

Makes a ton of sense … good business sense.

Post by Nick Vehr – 3.28.09