William Joseph Communications

Crisis Communications 101

When the wrong film was announced as the winner of Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards, all eyes immediately fell on a befuddled Warren Beatty. Moments later, after he shared his side of the story with the millions watching at home, scrutiny fell on PwC, the accounting authority responsible for overseeing the ballots. For an organization whose reputation hinges on its commitment to due diligence, accuracy and integrity, a gaffe of this magnitude required a swift response.

Welcome to the world of crisis communications. It’s important for businesses of all sizes, and the individuals associated with them to understand the importance of concise communications in a crisis, so key players can respond proactively, not reactively. While the definition of a crisis can be broad in scope, as it relates to businesses we will focus on three main threats: public safety, financial loss and reputation loss.

Recently, the cities of Calgary and Fort McMurray experienced crises that affected public safety, namely the flood of 2013 and the fire of 2016. Whether the crisis in question is environmental, operational or personal, a strategic communications plan is imperative. Let’s explore some best practices and principles surrounding crisis communications which aim to moderate threats to reputation, finances and security.

1. Stay Ahead of the Story

Don’t wait for an issue to break and never allow the narrative surrounding your business to be dictated by external sources. It’s important to always stay one step ahead by taking initiative if there’s an inkling that unfavourable news will break.  Communicating with stakeholders quickly, directly and openly is critical in keeping control over what news is being shared and why.

2. Stay in the Know

The sooner you know about an issue that may hit the headlines, the better. Be pre-emptive and monitor a variety of news sources relevant to your business daily to stay apprised of any media mentions. Conduct frequent scans of relevant information sources like social media tools, traditional media and blogs, and connect with those responsible for reporting. If and when an issue is detected, you can act accordingly to issue an appropriate response and mitigate the impact to your organization.

3. Communicate with all Stakeholders

It’s imperative that all stakeholders are informed when a crisis breaks, including those who are directly and indirectly affected. Employees, the board of directors, the media, partners, suppliers, and government agencies are groups that likely require immediate information, and as such, messaging tailored to each group should be created. There is nothing worse than hearing about a crisis from a third-party, so be proactive with your communications and respect your stakeholders’ right to information.

4. Honesty is the Best Policy

As the old adage goes, honesty is incredibly important, especially during a crisis. Providing a truthful account of the situation is paramount to maintaining credibility and integrity, so consider all the facts when crafting your communications. A crisis is not always a threat, and while it may appear as such, it can evolve into an opportunity. The way an organization responds to a crisis can shape the public’s perception and leave a lasting impression, so respond honesty.

5. Have a Plan

It’s important that everyone is on the same page in times of crisis. While many organizations have general communications guidelines regarding disclosure and procedures, a dedicated crisis communications plan is invaluable. A strong plan should provide the following:

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Thursday, April 18th, 2019 at 2:37pm
If you love your furry friends as much as we do please keep reading...

One of our office dogs, Odin, needs surgery. This was a shock to Odin's mom who's facing the staggering expense of this.

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Tuesday, April 16th, 2019 at 2:58pm
Curious if social media is relevant for your B2B business?

Here's the top 3 reasons why it is:
1) It positions you as a thought leader
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Tonight's the night!

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William Joseph Communications

We are the difference between momentary achievement and enduring success.Your success requires an agency that offers a fully integrated solution. One that has the vision to see beyond your current borders and the troops to guide you there. With us as your allies, be confident that you can achieve your boldest ambitions. At William Joseph we offer complete marketing solutions composed of strategies, tactics, and designs that effectively tell your story and address your unique marketing goals. Everything from advertising campaigns to experiential design, our team takes your corporate identity and translates it through a wide array of mediums to successfully champion your company.
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William Joseph CommunicationsThursday, April 18th, 2019 at 5:35pm
If you love your furry friends as much as we do please keep reading...

One of our office dogs, Odin, has recently torn a ligament and needs an expensive emergency surgery.

This came as a shock to Odin's mom who's facing the staggering expense of this surgery which is scheduled for this upcoming Wednesday.

Every little bit helps.

Please visit https://www.gofundme.com/let039s-help-odin to contribute.
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William Joseph CommunicationsTuesday, April 16th, 2019 at 6:00pm
Have you ever wondered if social media is relevant for your B2B business?

Of course it's great for connecting with consumers in the B2C world but there's also plenty of benefits for B2B businesses too.

Here's the top 3 reasons why:
1) It positions you as a thought leader
2) Helps you get to know your audience
3) Allows you to connect directly with your target market

Still not convinced?

If so, read this: https://www.williamjoseph.com/blog/social-media-right-b2b-business/
William Joseph Communications
William Joseph CommunicationsFriday, April 12th, 2019 at 4:38pm
Tonight's the night!

Congratulations to everyone who was nominated for this year's #SABEX Awards presented by Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce in #YXE.

The purpose of this evening's festivities is to recognize exceptional businesses within the #Saskatoon region.

Sounds like a fun event.
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William Joseph CommunicationsThursday, April 11th, 2019 at 4:51pm
Happy #NationalPetDay!!

Would you say you're more of a dog or a cat person?

Though we love all critters it seems that we're heavily in favour of dogs around the WJ office (with the exception of Mark and his collection of snakes).

Here's a few of the team's 4-legged friends.
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William Joseph CommunicationsSaturday, April 6th, 2019 at 1:31pm
Today is one year since the Humboldt Broncos tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the players, families, friends and community.

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