The Basics of Crisis Communication
The central points of crisis communication are simple to state but hard to master.
Know your intended audience and what they need to hear from you.
Communicate what happened, why it happened, and what you will do to remediate the harm and prevent it from happening again.
Communicate knowledgeably, honestly, and clearly.
Don’t be afraid to apologize, and do so from the heart, without equivocation or self-serving statements.
Communicate with a few key message points that are clear and supportable.
A crisis can be as much about perception as reality—indeed, in a crisis perception can become reality. The Indian politician Jawaharlal Nehru said that “every little thing counts in a crisis.” The tone and phrasing of your communications is—in the grand scheme of things—a little thing. In a crisis however, it counts.