Want to see a reporter get really excited? Say these two words in the thick of a corporate crisis: “No comment.” You may as well wave a red flag in front of a bull!
Truthful or not, those two words imply guilt and indicate you’ve got something to hide; not only to the press but to the public and your organization’s stakeholders.
During a crisis, transparency is essential as it builds trust with consumers and protects your brand. Media engagement during a crisis and forward statements will help you take charge of what may seem to be an uncontrollable situation. Obviously, there are legal considerations as to what can be shared with the press, but with proper training, it’s easy to prepare a crisis communication team with a structure and plan designed to offer transparency and corporate protection on your terms.
You can actually say quite a bit without crossing a line. For instance, here are a few ideas:
- “Our team is evaluating the situation and will get back to you with a full response once all the details are in hand. “
- “Let me tell you what we do know.”
- “It is a fluid situation, and we can’t rule anything out at this time.” ‘
- “I do not have the answer to that question at this moment, but I will get back to you just as soon as I know more.”
It’s inevitable. Bad things happen to good companies. Like everything else in life, preparation and training will provide the tools needed right the ship during the storm. Without it, your reputation and that of your organization could be at risk.