Six years ago, Early was hit by a significant tornado causing damage throughout our community and surrounding area. Our office was peppered with flying debris and damaged by the velocity of wind from the storm. Windows were broken, siding made ragged, shingles lifted, cracks appeared in walls and ceilings, and the lawn littered with stuff. While property damage was significant, there was no loss of life nor injuries and restoration was possible due to preparedness.
Knowing what to do in the event of a storm provides confidence. When a figurative storm hits your business, will you be ready?
For the optimists among us, it’s easy to pretend there will never be a challenge facing your business. In early March, United Airlines probably didn’t think they would endure two scandals causing worldwide negative attention or the resulting drop in stock value they have experienced. Their handling of the issue with the girls wearing leggings being told they could not board a flight due to not meeting dress code was awkward. Then the physical removal of a passenger on a flight at Chicago O’Hare became an even bigger headline, dwarfing the leggings fiasco.
Being prepared means having the process in place to quickly respond when there’s a crisis. And here’s the key point – you don’t have to immediately have answers! You do, however, need to acknowledge there’s a problem, be open about needing to find a solution, and understand forgiveness is more easily earned when denial is not part of your strategy.
Preparedness pays dividends beyond crisis communications as well. Know your story, have your communications plan in constantly updated status, and have a structure for responding to inquiries from media, customers, prospects, and peers. Your company has a value proposition – making it the core of your communications strategy equips everyone in your business to tell your story.
Need help with a preparedness plan? HMG can help! We will work with you to outline a plan with sound tactics to meet your objectives. There’s only one bad strategy: silence.
HMG will be closed on Friday, April 14 in observance of Good Friday and the Easter holiday. We wish you and your family a happy holiday weekend.