Crises happen when you least expect it, and, when they do, it can be tempting to run around panicking, shouting "Danger, Will Robinson!" and eventually collapsing into a heap. Don't do that.
Instead, learn from Cynthia Martinez, director of global corporate communications at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., who picked up these five crisis management tactics from her experience managing the fallout after a fire broke out onboard the cruise ship, Grandeur of the Seas.
1. Have a strategic, coordinated and rehearsed social media plan. As soon as the company learned about the fire, it established a three-pronged goal to manage the crisis: Become the main source of information on the fire; provide a steady stream of information and own the conversation and the visuals.
2. Communicate within minutes and stay engaged. Speak first, speak clearly and speak often.
3. Communicate with a unified voice. Make sure everyone in your company is equally equipped to become an ambassador.
4. Control the visual. In addition to pictures of the fire damage, Royal Caribbean also tweeted out pictures of its president and CEO, Adam Goldstein, onboard the ship, assessing the damage and meeting with guests. Major media outlets used those photos in their stories.
5. Put a company face front and center. People speak louder than logos.
Follow Lucia Davis: @LKCDavis.