Jump to main content
Quick send CV Upload a brief

How to manage crisis communications

There’s a crisis! No need to panic, you already have your crisis communications strategy and the perfect crisis communications expert in place to manage the situation. Right? 

Not necessarily. Only 49% of companies have crisis communications plans, meaning that half of all companies do not monitor internal communications to detect trouble ahead, found a Forbes Insights report for Deloitte.

It might feel like the UK has been leaping from crisis to crisis over the last six months. But not all crises are global, newsworthy headlines. The Forbes report defined a crisis as, 

“Crises result from a single devastating event or a combination of escalating events and present a severe threat to an organization’s strategic objectives, reputation and viability.” 

In fact, PwC’s 2019 Global Crisis Survey lists 19 possible crisis triggers, with companies citing liquidity issues, technological failure, and operational disruption as the top three most disruptive crises they faced. It is far more likely, then, that your crisis will come from within your own organisation. 

Great! That should be easier to solve then. Well, this is where some confusion can set in. The PwC report found that most C-Suite respondents felt they ‘owned’ a crisis, and, given that crises can develop across a range of differing functions, this seems sensible. But, given the sheer number of potential crisis scenarios, how do you ensure communication is managed so that the business can come together and solve the problem strategically?

Enter… your Crisis Communications Expert

Crisis communications is a specific skill-set within Communications, and often seen in PR, Communications and Media Relations professionals. These people will:

  • Liaise directly with senior leaders within the business, including the CEO, finding out the facts of the situation, provide communications advice and produce a crisis strategy
  • Communicate that strategy internally, and deliver to the media and customers
  • Write a press release and statements to issue across the company’s communications channels. For this reason, many crisis communications professionals have a journalism background, where their passion for fact-finding and communication began.
  • Have excellent media relations skills and be able to answer and deflect a journalist’s probing questions. Externally, they may be referred to as the ‘Company Spokesperson’, and sometimes they will be interviewed on camera or for radio.

Remembering that most crisis develop within a company's walls, however, is paramount. It has been argued that crisis management is 70% internal and 30% external. Having the internal framework to allow a free flowing, and fast, supply of information, and being able to keep internal stakeholders informed, comes before anyone can talk to the media.

How to hire for successful crisis management

PwC found that 74% of businesses had engaged in an external agency and 71% had some staff dedicated to crisis management.

Having a dedicated spokesperson internally is where your Communications team comes in. This could be your Internal Communications professional, or someone in your PR team that is responsible for coordinating internal messages and responses. Or, if you're a small business without a Communications team, it could be the CEO's Executive Assistant, or someone that inherently knows the company and its leaders. You want to ensure that internal crisis warnings are monitored, and that someone is responsible for liaising with either your Communications team or a third party.

At this point, if you don't have crisis management skills internally, you may hire a contractor adept in the sort of crisis you face, or an external Crisis Communications agency. Crisis Communications contractors are amongst the highest paid because of the value of their expertise. These professionals are adept in grasping the crisis situation and reacting quickly – producing the crisis strategy and external communications and liaising with the media and customers in what is often an intense and stressful time. 

To speak to us regarding your crisis management strategy and who to hire you can contact us here.

List #1

Related posts

Salary Survey & Trend Report 2024

Teaser

Salary & Market Trend Guide

Content Type

Downloads

Publish date

06/18/2024

Summary

Introducing our Salary & Market Trend Report for 2024/2025 - the ultimate resource for employers and candidates navigating the dynamic job market and evolving career landscape.Uncover how to future-pr

Teaser

Access our latest benchmarking guide for 2024 for marketing, digital and communications professionals. Access our overview of key industry trends this year.

Read more
The Rise of TikTok Shop: Influencer Marketing, Social Media Selling, and the Retail Revolution

Teaser

Industry news

Content Type

Articles

Publish date

06/03/2024

Summary

TikTok has emerged as a game-changer in digital marketing. Its short-form videos and vast user base offer brands a unique opportunity to engage with consumers. One of the most significant developmen

Teaser

TikTok has emerged as a game-changer in digital marketing. Its short-form videos and vast user base offer brands a unique opportunity to engage with consumers. One of the most significant developments in this space is the arrival of TikTok Shop, which enables users to purchase products directly within the app. Coupled with the rise of influencer marketing, TikTok Shop is revolutionising the retail industry.

Read more
Balancing Speed and Quality in Tech Development
Balancing Speed and Quality in Tech Development

Teaser

Discipline expertise

Content Type

Articles

Publish date

05/28/2024

Summary

The need for speed and quality often seem at odds in the technology development sector. The rapid pace of innovation necessary to remain competitive can undercut the meticulous attention to detail r

Teaser

Read more
How to Become a Great Marketing Leader through Self-Discovery?

Teaser

Career advice

Content Type

Articles

Publish date

05/22/2024

Summary

Marketing and Communications Leader Series Episode 5: Jen Barham Welcome back to EMR's Marketing & Communications Leader Series. In this podcast, we dive deep into the journeys of exceptional senior m

Teaser

In this EMR podcast, Jen Barham, talks about the power of self-discovery, self-awareness, resilience, and authenticity for effective marketing leadership.

Read more
How to Advance Your Career in Communications Leadership?

Teaser

Career advice

Content Type

Articles

Publish date

05/20/2024

Summary

Marketing and Communications Leader Series Episode 4: Dominic Elliott Welcome back to EMR's Marketing and Communications Leader Series podcast, where we dive deep into the journeys of exceptional seni

Teaser

In this EMR podcast, get actionable advice from Dominic Elliott on how to advance your career in communications and be successful in a leadership position.

Read more
How to Leverage Your Diverse Experience in a Marketing Leadership Career?

Teaser

Career advice

Content Type

Articles

Publish date

05/14/2024

Summary

Marketing & Communications Leader Series Podcast Welcome back to EMR's Marketing and Communications Leader Series. In this podcast, we dive deep into the journeys of exceptional senior marketing and c

Teaser

In this EMR podcast, uncover career insights and tips from Noreen Biddle Shah, Chief Marketing & Comms Officer, as she shares her leadership journey.

Read more
Digital Marketing 2022
Why Is This The Year to Kickstart Your Digital Marketing Career?

Teaser

Career advice

Content Type

Articles

Publish date

05/13/2024

Summary

Over the last few years, we're seeing a significant change in the landscape of the marketing sector, pushing brands to adapt and implement new ways of advertising. This shift has ushered us into a new

Teaser

From the growing demand for digital skills to the opportunities for career growth and fulfilment, learn why this is the year to pursue a career in digital marketing.

Read more
How to Navigate a Marketing Career: From a Junior Role to a Director

Teaser

Discipline expertise

Content Type

Articles

Publish date

05/10/2024

Summary

The Marketing & Communications Leader Series Podcast Welcome back to EMR's Marketing and Communications Leader Series. In this podcast, we dive deep into the journeys of exceptional senior marketing

Teaser

In this EMR's podcast, we ask Emma Hill, Brand & Marketing Director, about the skills, experience and critical factors for success as a senior marketing leader.

Read more
The Latest Marketing & Digital Recruitment Trends
The Evolution of Client Expectations in Recruitment

Teaser

Industry news

Content Type

Articles

Publish date

05/08/2024

Summary

The recruitment industry has experienced seismic shifts in the last few decades. With technological advances and changes in the workforce landscape, client expectations have evolved significan

Teaser

The recruitment industry has experienced seismic shifts in the last few decades. With technological advances and changes in the workforce landscape, client expectations have evolved significantly.

Read more
EMR Building a Successful Career in Communications
Building a Successful Career in Communications

Teaser

Career advice

Content Type

Articles

Publish date

05/08/2024

Summary

EMR is uniquely positioned to understand the transformative nature of communications in the marketing industry. In this dynamic field, roles in communications are constantly evolving. The underlying f

Teaser

EMR is uniquely positioned to understand the transformative nature of communications in the marketing industry. In this dynamic field, roles in communications are constantly evolving.

Read more
View more