When a crisis strikes your brand (and if it hasn't yet, it someday will), how you communicate internally with employees is at least as important as how you communicate with the media and the outside world.
Melinda Merillat, senior director of marketing and public relations at the College of Biblical Studies in Houston, Texas, shares some suggested policies to have in place to better manage internal communications during a crisis.
- All crises should be reported to the executive leadership immediately.
- The CEO should determine who is authorized to speak to and release information to the media and other parties.
- Emphasize professionalism with employees if they should be contacted by the media, but they should not speak with the media unless clearly directed otherwise.
- The CEO or head of PR should lead and coordinate the organizational response.
- All comments should be guided by professionalism and transparency, and should serve to mitigate the crisis.
- Never say, "No comment."
- Responses should convey genuine concern and care for victims.
- Scripts and a timeline should be written and approved by senior management before a crisis hits.
To learn more about crisis management, see PR News' Crisis Management Guidebook, available now.
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