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Brand responds to media questions and manages reputationIn the world of crisis communications, preparation is the key to maintaining a solid reputation.

Companies and organizations must be ready with a solid strategy – developing messaging for each audience, monitoring, social media and a streamlined approval process – and make the right decisions during a crisis. Forbes recently asked some communications experts for advice on how to handle communications during a crisis.

Here are some of the highlights that should be incorporated into a crisis response strategy:

Reflect and Collect Yourself Before You React

“Time and time again, we’ve seen businesses instantly react to a crisis, making our job way harder. My advice: Shut up for a second and take a breath. Nothing good ever came out of emotionally reacting or moving too fast without knowing the situation.” – Omar JenblatBusySeed

Have a Single Designated Spokesperson

“Designate a single spokesperson to avoid conflicting messages or statements, and craft a holding statement and distribute it to all employees. Keep those employees informed about what is happening, and make sure they know to acknowledge the situation and direct any inquiries to the designated spokesperson.” – Kathleen LucenteRed Fan Communications

Acknowledge Your Mistakes And Move On

“Acknowledge the problem, cut ties with the source of the problem and move on without harping on it. You don’t want to harp on apologies because when people smell blood in the water they pounce.” – Josh SampleDrive Social Media Saint Louis

Focus On The Positive PR You Prepared In Advance

“Reputation management and PR focus on controlling the conversation as a defensive strategy against a PR crisis. A lot of positive page-one content drowns out bad ‘stuff.’ This includes controlling brand keywords, building great social profiles and promoting on appropriate third-party sites.” – Dan GoldenBe Found Online

Get In Front Of The Story

“Speak the truth and get in front of the story. Make sure all of your facts are accurate and develop key talking points highlighting those facts. Getting in front of the issue as soon as possible is the best solution.” – Kim PlylerSahl Communications Inc.

Remain Honest, Open And Transparent Throughout The Crisis

“Be honest, open and transparent. If your brand is open and direct with your audience, they’ll understand and appreciate your transparency.” – Carey KirkpatrickCKP

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