Most big companies think they are ready. They have a crisis plan in place, communication experts on call and teams of well media-trained executive spokespersons.
Small companies are often less formally prepared, most don’t have a plan, limited professional training and fewer lawyers, but can actually do better surviving a tragic accident, scandal or even a big, bad company misstep.
How do either of these transpire?
Bad things can happen to good and bad companies on any given day. Take Toyota, Goldman Sachs, BP or a small restaurant that unknowingly buys some tainted product and WHAM! A bunch of customers get violently sick and one dies.
I recently did a guest appearance on FOX TV on the subject of surviving a big brand hit. What do you do? What do you not do? How do you navigate through a brand disaster?
My advice to all brands, companies and personalities:
1) Do have a plan. Whether you are a mega corporation or a small business, if you’ve got accident exposure, you had better have a thought through worse case situation and how you will respond.
2) Have the right spokesperson delivering the voice of the brand in troubled waters. BP’s Tony Haywood was the wrong guy from the get go. Not American, overly arrogant and a loose canon of the wrong sound bites, “I want my life back”.
3) Carefully balance litigation issues and public opinion management.
4) Don’t play the blame game, take the pounding and get back to business.
This past month, I’ve had a great month of media exposure. FOX, Forbes.com, American Express Open Forum all coming out soon. I will share the links when they all publish. If you are interested in earning more publicity for your brand, check out all my secrets are in the Publicity Ta-DO list. It’s a step by step simple game plan that’s been working for me and can work for you.