Public Relations Expert: Crisis Response is 99 Percent Planning, One Percent Execution
February 18, 2014
Feb. 18, 2014
Northwest credit unions have stretched their resources and response muscles informing and protecting their members in the wake of the Target and URM Stores data breaches that bore significant costs and inconvenience.
When a crisis such as a breach occurs, frantic members flood credit union call centers and the media parks their live trucks at the front door. But credit unions that already have a strong response plan in place, and have practiced it, will maintain and even enhance their image during such a time, according to Casey Boggs, president of LT Public Relations.
Boggs shared a priority list and best-practices checklist at the Northwest Credit Union Association’s Marketers’ Networking Council in January. In crisis, he said, companies often respond “backwards” and think about the media first, when in fact there are many other stakeholders who should be addressed first.
“We tend to take an inside-out approach to communications,” Boggs said. “Really, the first ones who should be notified are the executives. They’re running the ship, they’re flying the plane.”
After the leadership team and board are notified, Boggs recommends that staff, members, partners, and vendors and regulators should be next on the list. He also suggests addressing crisis response as needed via social media before reporters’ questions are addressed.
Boggs also recommends that a credit union staff have a “dress rehearsal.”
“Unless you are really well versed in a plan, it’s just words on a paper,” he said. Watch his video clip for more information on how practice builds muscle.
Boggs’ discusses his priority list in more detail in this video.
The NWCUA Marketers’ Conference will take a deeper dive into crisis response, as well as proactive public relations, raising public awareness through storytelling, and perfecting the messages that build good business reputations. The conference is scheduled for May 7-8 in SeaTac; registration is open online.
Questions? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225, firstname.lastname@example.org.