Crisis Communication

Most crises are unplanned and unexpected: no-one sees them coming. Sometimes, a crisis may be anticipated, but cannot be averted.

In either eventuality, we are here to help our clients manage the situation effectively by dealing with the potential media impact and by taking control of the external and internal messages that you or your business communicates.

From our experience, we know that delivering the right response at the right time is critical for the integrity of an organisation, its reputation and how it is perceived.

Well-executed crisis management is often critical. For example, if a High Court judgment is about to be handed down which will affect our client, we may need to draft a carefully worded statement in advance outlining a specific response to cover every relevant point. At other times, it may be best to wait and to make no immediate response. According to the circumstances, careful consideration needs to be given to the available options.

Contingency planning

At other times, a client may be aware that a persistent issue might turn into a crisis at some point. Problems can arise when busy, successful people are just too busy to focus on the media. We are on hand when those moments occur. We help our clients to prepare for the crisis when it comes and any unexpected consequences. A great deal of contingency planning can be done in advance of a looming crisis to ensure that the best outcome is achieved.

More problematic are crises which are genuinely unforseen. For example, the handing over of the wrong envelope at the Oscars was not a crisis in the proper sense, unless you were one of those responsible for the sponsoring brand. This simple error is emblematic of how one small mistake can have serious unforeseen reputation consequences, with clients and referrers.

Respond quickly

We can help you respond very quickly to an unexpected crisis, putting appropriate procedures in place: a chain of command so that a fast-moving story can be managed confidently with the right messages, properly disseminated and quickly delivered, to avoid rumour and speculation distracting from your considered response.

A common problem experienced by organisations is staff using social media – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook – to share their opinions. When employee messages differ from the corporate message they can create difficulty, especially if they are entirely at odds with the corporate ethos. We can help put social media policies in place so that staff know the boundaries of what is appropriate and we are experienced at repairing the damage after employees go off-piste.

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