[Editor’s Note: For this month’s dialogue, we’ve tried something different. Instead of a topic, we began by asking our dialoguers to react to a crisis scenario.
This month’s crisis pros are Ken Fields, SVP and senior partner, Americas crisis lead, at FleishmanHillard, and Ben LaBolt, partner, Bully Pulpit Interactive.
The main takeaway from the crisis scenario is the importance of crisis preparation. As crisis pros whose livelihood has them parachuting in to crises, Fields and LaBolt appreciate companies that have a crisis infrastructure, a set of plans and procedures and a well-practiced team when hired crisis pros arrive.
Such companies, they argue, are way ahead of the game. And in a crisis, where seconds often count, finding a prepared team is a boon for hired crisis pros.
Also helpful when crisis pros arrive is basic information about the situation. LaBolt emphasizes briefings with key company officials. Fields agrees and puts a priority on a clear list of the company’s most important stakeholders.
Another takeaway is that Fields and LaBolt believe the first piece of business, regardless of a crisis’ specifics, is that companies decide how they want to be perceived as handling the crisis. What is their reputation goal?
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