Recently I saw a tweet from a radio producer I deal with in my public relations work.
It stopped me cold.
It read, “media training is the world’s greatest evil.”
No company or organization is immune to crises, whether they’re product recalls, accidents, attacks, inappropriate behaviour by management or staff, or scandals. The recent Volkswagen emission situation illustrates the latter. It plunged into crisis mode after the automaker’s efforts to cheat pollution tests were caught and made public in the media.
When a crisis befalls an organization, as it did to Jamie’s Whaling Centre in Tofino, B.C. with the deadly capsizing of its whale-watching vessel, the organization’s tendency is to hide.
That is the worst thing to do if it hopes to survive the crisis.
If the breach is serious enough to warrant an apology (and not all are), have the leader make it sincerely, quickly and cleanly, before things get worse. But first, clarify:
what your leader is apologizing for.
who your leader is apologizing to.
–Ann Gibbon, Ask the Experts, Business in Vancouver, Dec. 3, 2013