Jennifer Jones is a global leader in social media marketing. In one of her many blog posts, she addresses the topic of crisis communication. In the post, she pulls from FDR’s fireside chats and how he dealt with the Great Depression.
Jones lists these six steps of crisis communication ideas that could be very beneficial for an organization or person stuck in a crisis.
- Reach out to your audience where they are; connect with them personally and directly.
- Tell the truth. Speak honestly and plainly about what happened – what went wrong.
- Explain how you will fix the problem in the short term; how you will make things right.
- Also, explain how you will ensure the problem will never happen again.
- Tell your listener what they need to do (i.e. return a defective product or change passwords.)
- Follow-up with details showing how the solution is working and use specific examples.
What I got out of Jones’ blog was how important communication is when apart of a crisis. Hiding things and not involving all those affected rarely gets you anywhere and having little communication can really lead the problem and feelings of all those involved to worsen. When people are told the truth, given details on how the problem plans to be solved, etc, they tend to be calmer, easing the tension of the situation a bit. A well laid out plan given to all of the people is extremely beneficial because it lessons room for chaos and allows the people to know that the situation is being handled. Jones’ points are good because they show how sometimes people need to be directed and in a sense told that everything will be alright and is being handled. Without clear communication it only leads the people of a crisis to worry further. It is easy for things to be accomplished and for the people to have trust and faith in those trying to solve a situation when everyone is constantly informed. It is important to make a connection with the people in a crisis, to let them know that they’re all in it together, and to try to calm their worries by letting them know exactly how the situation is being fixed. As Jones says, honesty will only make you stronger on the other side.