8 Oct 2007

When the worst happens

Non-existent infrastructure, confusion and a late start marked Greta Svensson’s arrival in post-tsunami Thailand. As press secretary for the Swedish Rescue Services Agency (Räddningsverket), Svensson soon found herself thrown into a media storm.

She uses these experiences to lecture about crisis communication and prepare companies for disasters (natural or otherwise). Svensson is a no-nonsense presenter, relying on lists to get her message across to Swedish communicators.

Svensson explains what companies should do in a crisis:
- Be available.
- Act quickly.
- Put the crisis group into action.
- Do not hide unpleasant facts.
- Tell the truth.
- Do not play the blame game.
- Demand a correction.

You might be asking yourself “is the Pope Catholic?” Yes, he is and yes, these points are elementary to people working with communications. We know what happens when top management lies to the media. We shake our heads when we see people making these basic mistakes and yet, they happen. When your company is in crisis, you are much more likely to fall into a trap. Watch your step.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I read a book, quite a while ago, written by an American crisis communications expert and he had another dimension to add into the mix and that was
- don't call your lawyers.
This was more from a US viewpoint where litigation matters tend to be more prevalent but his advice was that you're better off saying it as it is because once the lawyers get their hands on a piece of post-crisis communications, they're going to sanitize it to pieces for fear of litigation. So, if you're crisis affects a litigation conscience society, ignore that fact and Don't call the lawyers. It's a worthy point.