A matter of perception
It almost goes without saying that effective crisis management needs a mechanism for spotting that you’re having one in the first place and a capable team who are able to make decisions and take appropriate actions to deal with the situation. And this is the focus of attention for many crisis management plans.
But the importance of being seen to be taking the right actions and being heard to say the right things is sometimes overlooked, or not given the focus that it warrants.
The ‘audience’ (including your various stakeholders) observing the crisis from the outside will make their decisions on how well, or otherwise, a crisis is handled based on their perception, which may or may not reflect reality. But their perception is their reality, and it’s created by what they see and what they hear.
In addition to the mechanics of how a crisis will be managed and by whom, effective crisis management needs to give due consideration to reputation management. And reputation management needs effective perception management. Which means a properly thought out communications strategy, along with tools to deliver it effectively.
In fact, perception management is arguably the most important element of your crisis management planning.
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