One of the best recent descriptions of a crisis situation is from a marine engineer commenting on the megaship Ever Given after it ran aground in the Suez Canal: “Grounding isn’t uncommon. The uncommon thing is if you hit it at the wrong place at the wrong time, you’re in the New York Times.”
Bad things sometimes happen to otherwise good people. In some cases it might be a strategic misstep. In others it might be a random act that thrusts you and your team into the media spotlight. In nearly all cases, time is of the essence to respond clearly and concisely, from a place of integrity, with messaging that positions you in the best possible light.
Over the course of my career I’ve dealt with hostile media inquiries, competitive defamation, Internet trolls, executive malfeasance, industrial sabotage, tense labor negotiations and layoffs, financial theft, government overreach, law enforcement issues, fatalities and assaults, a rocket explosion and a plane crash.
Working through a crisis isn’t easy, but it is manageable. And in many cases – if the situation is handled properly – a company can improve its reputation with customers, stakeholders and the general public.