In addition to our crisis readiness services, where we help clients develop detailed, comprehensive crisis communication plans and prepare their teams to execute these plans under challenging circumstances, we also provide high-level strategic counsel to clients dealing with current or potential crisis situations.
This strategic counsel is available in all three of what we consider the key “zones” in the evolution of a crisis:
The green zone is a time of relative calm, with no active crises and none on the horizon. This is when forward-thinking organizations build the relationships that will make it easier to respond to a crisis when one does arise. During this period, we help you find issues that could take on a life of their own, uncover potential operational and non-operational crisis situations, and identify key stakeholders.
We also work with you to create a program of proactive outreach to the identified stakeholders. By approaching these groups or individuals now and letting them know what to expect in a crisis, you can establish trust and open lines of communication that will help to minimize the impact of future events.
The amber zone may be the most critical time in the life cycle of a crisis. This is the small window in which you have identified a situation with potentially devastating impact, and there is still a rapidly disappearing opportunity to preempt it, or at least lessen its severity.
This is the phase where our involvement can be most beneficial, helping you see around the corner to identify what might be coming and make the right moves to be ready. We work with you to identify the top-tier stakeholders and define the best-case, worst-case, and most-likely scenarios for the crisis. We then guide you through the process of addressing the situation by hitting it head-on and dealing with the underlying issue, rather than stonewalling or going into “damage control” mode.
In a perfect world, clients would always contact us during the green or amber zones, when we could help them to preempt a crisis before it becomes a serious threat to their organization’s future. Even after a crisis has reached the red zone, however, we can still help you emerge with your credibility and reputation intact.
We help you apply our philosophy of “Tell the truth, even if it hurts; be helpful under fire; and stand your ground where it matters” to your strategic approach to the unfolding crisis. By making sure that this approach is applied to every crisis-related interaction that your team has with stakeholders or the public, you can shorten the severity and duration of the event’s consequences, and lay the groundwork for protecting or rebuilding trust in your organization.