Video: All Hands on Deck During a Crisis

Handling Comms During COVID-19? We've compiled our best resources.

Storm clouds are brewing on your brand’s horizon.

Only 40 percent of brands have a go-to plan for when crisis strikes. Will your brand take the time to prepare for torrential rain and heavy winds, or risk wrecking the ship?

Michael Fineman, president of Fineman PR makes crisis communication easy by providing clients with a mid-crisis checklist. Called PANTCHEK, the handy (and hilarious) acronym breaks the process down into eight straight-forward steps.

To see the PANTCHEK checklist in action, check out Fineman PR’s animated video. They give a fun spin on how these eight steps will help your brand should the seas get a little choppy.

To recap, here’s a quick glimpse of what Fineman PR advises clients to do amidst a crisis:

P: Make the public your first and main concern.

Use social listening tools to keep an ear on what the public is saying about the issue at hand. Watch for major changes in numbers listed in your analytics and metrics. If you stay on top of what’s being said, you’ll increase your chances of addressing the public’s concerns before they spiral out of control.

A: Gather all your facts, then announce all the negative news.

Rather than announce new issues in waves — which would ultimately upset the public and give the media more to spin — prepare a holding statement to hold off any questions until you’ve assembled all of the information surrounding the crisis.

N: Keep away from the three no-nos: blame, speculation and repetition.

As stated in “How to Plan and Manage Crisis Communication in a Social World,” “The simpler the message is, the better.” If you make the mistake of blaming another party or speculating why the event happened, you’ll lose public support and any allies you may have made prior to the crisis.

Want tips on how to guide your brand through a social media crisis? Get Cision’s tip sheet today!

T:  Give your take on the story, and take responsibility for what’s yours.

Don’t let your defensive side rule how you communicate. Tell your side of the story and always take responsibility for what happened under your watch. Transparency is a must for crisis management.

C:  Show your human side with care and concern for those affected.

Actions speak louder than words, especially during a crisis. Be sure to acknowledge those who were affected by the situation.Crisis-Team

H: Have an upper-level, well-trained spokesperson speak on your brand’s behalf.

To get your brand’s side of the story heard, you need the right spokesperson. Ensure the person you choose won’t freeze in the middle of an interview or ramble off topic.

E: Get everyone on board to eliminate the chances of the same crisis happening again.

Regularly review and update your crisis communication plan. Whenever you make changes to the plan or identify a new weakness, be sure to notify everyone of how to handle issues going forward.

K: Create a crisis communication team to keep your brand going.

Provide training and simulate crises to prepare your brand for when a situation strikes. Then, take things a step further by outlining a specific crisis communication team. By doing so, your brand will be able to function amidst the chaos.


Images: Nick Kinkaidbrownpau (Creative Commons)

About Katie Gaab

Katie Gaab is a content marketing specialist for Cision. Previously the senior editor for Help A Reporter Out (HARO), she enjoys connecting audiences to exciting, new content. She's a dancer, avid concert-goer, foreign language nerd and book worm. Find her on Twitter @kathryngaab.

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