Only half of all chief executives participate in crisis training, according to PR Week. Usually, it’s these same individuals who will find a microphone in their face in times of company crises. NPH, a nonprofit group with orphanages in Central and South America, found itself in the midst of crisis when the Haiti earthquake struck. Even with a crisis plan in place, NPH executives were hit hard emotionally as they had to announce the death of two staff members. During challenging times, being “crisis ready” is even more crucial as emotions and ongoing family sensitivities weigh heavily on the demands of the staff. Key for any executive? Be prepared and act quickly.
At Celtic, we host mock press conference training to prepare our executives for the tough questions. It helps them finesse ways to stay on point when the media hits hard.
Remember these three key factors for your leadership team:
- Let the severity of the crisis determine your tone and prepare your statements using honesty but don’t be too formal – human emotion makes you seem real
- Stay on point and practice possible questions with your PR team – don’t be afraid to say” I don’t know but will find out”
- Don’t answer questions that ask you to give your opinion on the situation – reiterate the facts and stay on point