As a small business owner, you might not have a dedicated PR team equipped to handle a disaster or crisis, but that doesn't mean you cannot arm yourself by putting an executable plan in place before it's needed. For crisis management to be effective, small businesses should focus on delivering key messages in a timely and accurate manner in order to strengthen damage control.
Phillip Thune explains that when a disaster strikes, businesses are not doomed to fail. Thune provides three crisis communication tips:
Respond quickly. Don't allow your customers to become frustrated if they are left in the dark. Ensure you are responding in a timely manner and providing all information that is available. If you don't have all the answers that is okay – identify that there is an issue and you and your team are working on a resolution. Social media might be the first channel to communicate through, since it is such a quick way to reach your audience.
Answer honestly. Don't exacerbate the situation by avoiding the issues at hand. Provide transparent and honest answers in order to demonstrate trustworthiness and show your customers that you care. Having a plan in place ahead of time can also provide your staff the necessary tools they need in order to respond to the influx of calls, emails or social media enquiries.