Hi, I’m Nicole Harris, founder and lead crisis communications trainer at Solv Communications. And here’s why in a crisis, your best defence most times is a strategic offence.
Imagine it’s Monday morning, and you’ve just learned your company’s network has been hacked and your customer’s data breached. So what do you do? Temptation is to say nothing and hope the public never finds out. But is that really the best strategy?
Communicating proactively is almost always the best response. And here’s why.
First, it establishes you as the main source of information about what happened in your organization. I’ve reported on far too many instances where leaders let someone else fill the void with their own version of the story. And I’ve seen how that can lead to misinformation and compound the problem.
Secondly, by issuing a media statement or even granting a media interview, you’re demonstrating to your stakeholders and the public that you’re in charge and control of the situation. Simply acknowledge that you’re aware of the incident, you’re taking the matter seriously, and tell reporters who you’re cooperating with.
These steps will position you as a leader who is stepping up and owning the situation. So as painful as it may be, your best strategy in most instances is to communicate quickly and proactively if you really truly want to protect your company and your own reputation. Thanks for watching.