What To Say During a Crisis
A crisis speech is what it sounds like, a speech dealing with crisis. You have an opportunity to explain the problem, easing the related stress, and, in the process, avert unnecessary fallout.
Whether the crisis was caused internally, or deals with matters and events larger than a company or individual, key audiences need to be addressed. This requires strategic diplomacy.
The goal of a crisis speech is to mitigate the consequences. The event it addresses may yet be forthcoming or already over. Not all problems can be fixed, but the impact can be turned around from destructive to constructive. Use crisis situations as an opportunity to build your image and brand, or, if for no other reason, to say the right thing.
Part of any crisis contingency plan involves a public relations aspect. Categories exist for tragedy, scandal, death, attack, natural disasters, and so on. Carefully worded speeches can be prepared ahead of time that deal with each specifically, but are generic enough for your communications staff to quickly adapt them per the unique context.
When it comes time to speak publicly, consider transparency. If the problem is the fault of your company, acknowledge it exists and grieve that it happened. No excuses. And be sure to say your company is working to make things better. Certainly, talk to your legal staff, but try not to sound like every syllable filtered through a lawyer.
Believe, though, what you are saying. Be honest.
Sometimes, a crisis occurs and there is no plan. What do you do? Don’t panic. Instead, pull back and look at things objectively. What’s the worst reaction possible? What is the likelihood of that reaction? Do you know the expected reaction? What response does your audience (customers, stockholders, employees, media, and/or general public) expect from you?
I can help sort all of this out. I can help craft a message with the appropriate tone for whatever circumstance you encounter.
If there is an emergency, I am ready to step in. Not only will I write your message, but I can help you know how to present the speech tactfully. Plan ahead and contact me for a group of such messages.