23 Jan Critical steps to crisis management by Joseph Ashford
Is your business prepared to deal with a crisis? Every statement and every word matters during a crisis as it has the potential to ruin your business. Joseph Ashford, the number one choice for marketing and business advice has decided to cover the issue of crisis management. We sat down with Joe in one of our regular chats to ascertain what he thinks are critical steps to crisis management.
What is crisis management by Joseph Ashford?
As the name suggests, crisis management refers to a process in which a company or organisation responds to an unexpected crisis that has the potential to explode into a potential catastrophe which can affect the business, the public or even the shareholders. When managed well, crises or their effects can be minimalised. A definition by which was defined with the help of Wikipedia.
Ways you can avert a crisis and prevent it snowballing
Joseph Ashford, our marketing guru has been the owner and CEO of many businesses throughout the years. He has experienced every level of business in different sectors and is highly regarded for his sound marketing and business acumen. Whether you are a small business owner or even new to the field of business, it is important to be prepared for every eventuality even if a disaster never occurs.
Plan, plan, plan
Joe Ashford states that you cannot underestimate the importance of planning for your business and any crisis that could happen. The first thing he has advised for you to do is to start with a clear plan with objectives. Every objective must be designed so that the business survives; individuals must be protected whether they are a client, employee or member of the general public. Your company must inform any key audiences during a plan too. It is important to state the specific response required for the crisis event.
Have a designated spokesperson
Our marketing guru Joseph Ashford noted this, “A crisis can sometimes be inevitable but planned strategies and a spokesperson will help to alleviate the impact of the damage to your business”. If you have a spokesperson, you will ensure that communications from your company are not confused or scrambled. Your company will speak with one voice and a consistent one at that. It will also help with regards to media questioning and interview requests.
Honesty and transparency is the best policy
Often in a disaster, many companies often feel compelled to play with the truth and downplay certain aspects of the aforementioned event. Our resident marketing guru Joseph Ashford advises that you should “be honest as possible…to avoid negative publicity”. Adopt a transparent approach to all brand communications including:
- News interviews
- Social media
- Internal announcements
Inform the company and employees
Very often, when a disaster occurs many companies neglect to inform their employees what is happening which creates an air of distrust. Joe Ashford believes that keeping your employees abreast of any developments that may develop will help keep rumours at bay.
During an event, it is vital that you continue to communicate to reassure your stakeholders, customers and/or suppliers. Joey Ashford believes that the worst thing a company to do is to NOT inform customers or other parties previously mentioned so that they learn from second-hand sources like the media. Regular updates will smooth over any mishaps and keep relations in a great position.
Joseph Ashford believes that it is favourable for businesses to over-communicate so that rumours do not have the chance to circulate. By filling in the gaps with official information, you will be seen as responding actively to the crisis which will look much more favourably on your company.
Often neglected, social media is an EXTREMELY powerful communication tool and Joseph Ashford believes that “not enough companies employ it in their communications strategy. Social media should be viewed “like a wildfire” says Joe Ashford, “One piece of false news can spread and go viral.” Continuous monitoring of social media channels by your company can put these falsehoods to rest before they have that all too common damaging impact.
We have now come to the final part of our article on crisis management and how you can ensure that your business is ready for every eventuality. Jose Ashford wishes to conclude the post with a few choice words that have been peppered with his many years of business experience.
“Crises are an unavoidable facet of business and come with the territory. While the crisis may be out of your control, you can change and control how you deal with the events, so that business remains concurrent. As Milton Berle, a wise man once said ‘If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.’ Stay tuned for more articles in the future.”