Crisis Management - the Core approach

At Core Management we have more than thirty years of hands-on experience of dealing with some of the highest profile crisis situations. Many of our biggest successes are those issues that no one has ever heard of.

Crisis management guide slideThe effective management of crises and issues is more challenging now than it ever has been.

In a digital age when everyone can share their stories, their gossip and their pictures, it takes experience, expertise, planning and robust systems, to take control of a crisis and protect a reputation.

 An on-demand, on-the-go world means that information is accessed and shared on the phone, via tablets, on laptops and in the office. News and rumours spread in seconds. Re-tweets, likes and favourites mean that a single piece of information can travel around the world at the press of a button or two.

No longer can organisations control an emerging issue with carefully timed press conferences and statements that, either coincide with, or often avoid a journalist’s deadlines.

These days, when it comes to a crisis, time zones and geographical boundaries count for very little.

A well prepared company has systems, plans and support in place that are always on. Around the clock monitoring, editorial insight and a communication tool that can be accessed anywhere at any time on any digital device are all must-haves.

The pace and unpredictability of an issue that puts a brand’s valuable reputation at risk, means that more people are now required to handle a crisis and to keep a business running smoothly. The fact more people are needed to deal with a breaking situation means that it’s vital that they can talk to each other and that essential documents and updates are shared quickly.

The Core Dashboard - crisis communication tool

The Core Dashboard is a unique and secure system. It’s a portal for all essential documents. It’s a system that encourages collaboration and cuts down on email traffic. Social media and news feeds are activated by the click of one button to keep a company up to date with the fastest moving of situations. Built in alerts mean that the crisis team can be contacted quickly even out of hours. Permission-led access rights mean that partners, suppliers and customer facing teams can all be invited to join the system, safe in the knowledge that confidential documents will remain confidential.

The best of systems must be designed to work alongside confident teams which are supported by trusted advisors.

On social media the speed of a crisis spreading is often inversely proportional to the truth of the story. There have been many examples where stories have spread far and wide before the facts of it have been checked out. The truth almost always comes out in the end but by then the damage may have already been done to an unsuspecting organisation or individual.

Three phases: Prepare – Listen – Act

The Core Management approach to protecting a brand’s reputation splits into three phases: Prepare – Listen – Act.

Crisis management guide - Prepare, Listen, Act

Prepare

Typically the preparation phase begins with an audit of existing systems and processes. Our comprehensive and confidential audit looks at plans and manuals that are already in place. We will check that these are fit for purpose to deal with both a communications crisis and a situation that threatens the smooth running of the business. Plans need to be regularly updated, shared across an organisation’s senior teams and easily accessible at all times.

Crisis and business continuity teams should be put through their paces annually to ensure that everyone knows what is expected of them should the worst happen.

Our team of experienced journalists, copy writers, social media strategists and web designers help you to pull together everything that you need. Materials such as documents, statements and Q&As are put in place to speed up the approval process for when the pressure is on and time is of the essence. Internal communication messages are pre-prepared along with social media content ready to publish. For some, dark websites can be created and made ready to go live for when they are needed.

As a first step to putting plans in place answer these simple online questions.  By taking this free test you’ll receive a confidential report and recommendations from our team of experts. There is no commitment from your side but it could turn out to be one of the most useful 30 minutes you’ve ever spent in the office.

Listen

The popularity of social media means that an issue can develop at any time. Unnoticed and unchecked it can quickly spread and the damage to the reputation of your business can be done before you are even aware of the situation.

Effective monitoring has to be in place to track conversations across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media platforms that are growing in popularity. Making use of the latest digital tools we can track how the mood is changing on a topic within your industry.

The Horsemeat scandal is a crisis that has changed the food industry. Many well-known brands were left damaged by the crisis. But it could have been even worse if it wasn’t for many on social media seeing the funny side of the story. In the first six weeks of the story breaking in January 2013 there were more than 200,000 mentions of horsemeat across social media. Amongst the potentially damaging comments and updates were many jokes. Famously one spoof video of a pantomime horse looking for its mother in the freezer section of a well-known supermarket has now been viewed more than a quarter of a million times on YouTube.

Assessing the impact of messages and the changing attitudes towards an emerging issue can shape an organisation’s response.

Connected to the journalists that matter we will ensure that their latest reports online, in print and on broadcast, will be brought to your attention and analysed for their impact. Our experts in influencer and stakeholder relations will help you to manage those relationships that are most important to you in even the most challenging of situations.

Act

Supported by the robust plans that we have helped you to put in place and informed by around the clock monitoring you are now ready to take effective action. The speed of your response is important and acceptable response times are now shorter than they ever have been before. But that does not mean to say that you should rush your communications. Bringing together your crisis team quickly and supported by your trusted advisors the right decisions can be made without delay.

Clear lines of leadership mean that you are in the best position possible to make the right decisions and to share them across the company, with your partners and stakeholders as well as with your customers.

Contact Core Management

At Core Management we have the hands-on experience that you need to guide you through the most challenging of situations. We take time to get to know your business and your industry. The advisors that you talk to in a crisis are people who you know and who you trust. They are available 24/7.

Take the first step to giving yourself the confidence that you need to deal with even the worst of times. Call our team of advisors +44 (0)20 7052 8814