By Jessica Barone
At PRSSA National Conference this year, I learned about crisis management with the help of Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation, and Mike Flanagan, partner at the LDWW group.
They discussed how to handle a crisis before (which can be difficult), during, and after the crisis.
“It’s how you manage the issues along the way,” Frizzell said.
You may not know when a crisis is coming; however, you can get yourself prepared for tomorrow’s crisis. It’s all about the relationships you make with the media before a crisis happens that can either help you or hurt you.
It is important to handle the reputation of the company after the crisis. You need to pick someone to take credit for the change: a change maker. This is critical in post-crisis management. You need to have a “pillow of good news,” or positive media coverage, so that in the instant something bad happens, it will help soften the blow.
You need to change the conversation with the media, enlist third parties because their voices are more meaningful and measure everything because you can never let research fall behind in importance.
Top 10 post-crisis steps:
Public relations can really impact a brand if done correctly. When Carnival had an incident where one of its ship’s engines caught on fire, for example, it hurt its brand and reputation. It was known as “the poop cruise,” but Carnival came up with a game plan to regain its publics’ trust.
In this industry it is important to take crisis management seriously. Preparation and research is key in helping a company or brand recover from a crisis. The job is never done after a crisis.
“In this business we are always dancing,” Flanagan said.