By Gerard Braud
Why do companies hire crisis communications experts after a crisis?
Why don’t companies hire a crisis communications expert before they ever have a crisis?
Why don’t companies write crisis communications plans so that they can manage a crisis and the communications on their own?
The story of crisis communications is much like the movie Groundhog Day. I feel like Bill Murray’s character, living the same story daily. That is because every day, another company announces they are hiring a crisis communications expert to magically make everything better after corporate executives allowed a crisis to happen.
Here is an open letter about crisis communication to corporate leaders:
Dear Corporate Executives,
Many of you make bad decisions every day. You put profits before people and when you do, you have the recipe for a disaster. GM executives decided not to spend 57-cents per car, in order to replace faulty ignition switches, because they thought it would cost too much. If they had spent the money, then:
- People would not have died
- A crisis would not have happened
- The company’s reputation would not have been damaged
- The company would not be paying untold millions to fight or settle cases
- The company would not be getting grilled by congress
- The head of GM would not be the butt of jokes for every late night talk show
Corporate executives should hire a crisis communication expert before a crisis happens.
Corporate leaders should hire a crisis communication expert to make sure their company has a properly written crisis communications plan.
Corporate leaders should stop relying on someone with a spreadsheet to make decisions about revenue that will later damage the company’s reputation.
Corporate leaders should hire a crisis communications expert to be the cynic at the table. That way, spreadsheet decisions do not lead to revenue decisions that have short-term gains and eventually cause long-term damage to both reputation and revenue.
Corporate executives should commit to protecting their reputation and revenue by having a crisis communication plan that guides their decision making before a crisis happens, during a crisis, and after a crisis