A Guest Post by Jane Jordan-Meier
Crisis planning has become somewhat of an art form since the 1980’s thanks to Johnson & Johnson’s deft handling off the Tylenol crisis. They set the gold standard. They acted very fast recalling every Tylenol capsule in America, and then quickly introducing tamper-proof bottles.
To act fast, and with an intelligent, compassionate and strategic approach, you need a plan. There are many approaches to crisis planning – the most basic of which is pre-crisis, during a crisis and post-crisis. Is there a best practice approach?
One method that I found to work very effectively for a wide cross-section of clients over the many years of facilitating crisis planning is this very simple process – work with your six best friends!
Six best friends, you ask?
That would be 5 w’s and how? They are definitely your best friends in a crisis. This is the mantra.
Who needs to know What, When, Where, Why and How?
Let’s take stage one, when the crisis has occurred, there had been a “show-stopping” event that has triggered your organization into a crisis. This is how you can use the process.
Let’s look at how this process might work to select the spokespeople:
This simple, but powerful approach can work for scenario planning too:
I have found this back-to-basics approach to work very effectively. Simple too, and it can be used at every step of the planning process.
Jane Jordan-Meier is founder and CEO of The Media Skills Academy, an international boutique training, coaching and advisory firm. Jane is a high-stakes communication and media coach with more than two decades of experience in working with executive management in both the government and the private sectors. Most of Jane’s work today is in crisis management training with senior and executive management. Jane has taught at Masters and undergraduate levels at prestigious communication schools in Australia and is a frequent guest lecturer and speaker at conferences, workshops and seminars around the globe. Her book The Four Highly Effective Stages of Crisis Management: How to Manage the Media in the Digital Age was released to critical acclaim in May, 2011. Jane can be networked with through her LinkedIn profile and on Twitter@janejordanmeier