One of the people I have always admired the most in the PR business and in life often says that the best crisis management is the work you never hear about. It’s the quiet counsel to senior managers and others helping to avert a crisis rather than having to respond to one.
She has handled quite a few crises over the years and I can say she’s always practiced what she preached.
My friend’s point is that rather than have to go into damage control mode, it’s always best to try to see how organizational decisions could affect certain audiences and to try to anticipate possible reactions to some decisions, affect how other decisions are implemented, and always to make sure that those decisions are well communicated before, during and after.
Sometimes, we in the communications business can have an influence over how or whether a few of those decisions are acted upon. Hopefully, in such a way that the best possible outcome is achieved, and equally important, how the decisions are understood by our most important stakeholders.
When organizations can prevent a crisis from happening during the planning phase, you typically don’t read about it in the news media. You don’t see results of the sometimes intense work behind the scenes honored in any PR awards competitions. What you most often see is business as usual.
And that, to my friend, is always the best option when considering the true objective of a good crisis management program.