Risk planning + crisis management

A reputational crisis can strike at any time and it’s that crucial companies are prepared to respond at a moment’s notice. But knowing exactly how to respond and what to prepare for is not always straightforward.

The digital era means that news, particularly bad news, is shared quickly across large audiences. In the past, media content was in the hands of the few – press and broadcast journalists, but now there are literally millions of self-professed content writers out there, many expressing views as fact but with no substance or grounding.

The era of fake news is here and it is not likely to get any better in the short-term at least. It is therefore essential to manage situations and ensure accurate responses are available to the media and social media preferably prior to a crisis breaking or at least quickly after.

The key to managing any crisis is to take control. This means ensuring all internal and external communications are carefully considered prior to and during a crisis. We advise clients on how to take control by managing the reaction to the crisis in the best possible way, mitigating potential reputational damage.

Of course, attempting to prevent a crisis is better than having to cure one. Our experts can undertake thorough horizon scanning, identifying potential crises, highlighting issues within the business that can potentially be eradicated prior to causing the problem.

We help clients prepare effective holding statements or pre-scripted messages which can be delivered to staff, stakeholders or the media by designated spokespeople when necessary, should a crisis unfold.

Crisis Management areas we can help with

Creating an action plan for the future

Media
Training

Press liaison and management

Social media monitoring and response recommendations

Charity crisis communications
A leading South West charity approached us to help prepare a strategic crisis communications plan. As a result of financial pressures, some of the charity’s assets needed to be sold resulting in significant job losses just before Christmas, so deemed to be of national media interest and so a risk of media backlash and reputational damage. Chalk + Ward Consultancy prepared a strategic plan covering all aspects of crisis communications and including meticulously planned timings for the announcement and redundancies. We pre-scripted messages and key messages, press statements, quotes, a press release, a target media list, letters to staff, a holding statement, and a Q & A. A spokesperson was briefed and media training. Following the announcement, Chalk + Ward Consultancy provided a press office service, fielding calls from journalists and setting up interviews. The story was contained and the potential risk averted.

“Chalk + Ward have been instrumental in the launch and ongoing development of the Kirks Insolvency website. Their SEO work has meant we’ve also seen a significant increase in relevant traffic to the website, resulting in regular new business leads. I would recommend them to any company looking to improve their digital strategy.”

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