The story about the woman who claims she found a finger in Wendy’s chili begs the questions, if a crisis hit your company or organization tomorrow–like a product recall, for example–and you needed a way for customers to quickly contact you for help, how long would it take to get a toll-free hotline installed? How much longer would it take to train someone on how to use it?
The time to think about installing a hotline, and enduring the inevitable service hassles from your phone company, isn’t when the crisis is spinning out of control.
Researching what’s involved in setting up this emergency tool is only one of many things you can get out of the way long before bad news hits. Crisis counselor Judith Hoffman says there are other things, too. Like understanding the types of crises or bad-news situations to which your company is most susceptible. Yet 9 out of 10 companies never even think about crisis planning until the crisis falls into their laps. And they’re forced to spend hours–sometimes days–trying to figure out how to talk to the media, when they should be spending time managing the crisis.
Judith shares her strategies on “What to do When Someone Damages Your Good Name.”
For 17 years, Judith was the manager of public affairs for a chemical manufacturing company that made one of the smelliest chemicals known to man. Consequently, if an operational upset caused an odorous release, she had to deal with upset neighbors as well as the media. With microphones in her face and reporters digging for a story, she managed many crises including a bomb threat, an overturned railcar, and an employee injured on site. So she can really show you how to get off the hot seat in a crisis.