Crisis consulting and crisis communication

What can’t be communicated can’t be implemented

Crises are part of business and part of running a company. And hopefully, they’re the exception. Without proper preparation in place, crises can push management and corporate communications to their limits and beyond. And when stress and pressure get to be too much, mistakes will be made – something that’s especially fatal in moments of crisis.

We can – and must – prepare ourselves for crises. Very few events happen in a way that would have been impossible to anticipate and prepare for. And one thing applies here: In times of crisis you seldom have time to explain even basic things.

But who will say what – and how quickly will we be able to speak? Are processes, responsibilities and initial reactions clear? Can we manage to proactively shape the communication game instead of having to play by others’ rules?

An opportunity and a risk: The internet and social media

A lot of information (and also disinformation) today comes to light – and spreads rapidly – through social media. Never have brands and companies had to face so much public criticism, community outrage and impulsive opinion forming.

And on the internet – as well as in classic media – it’s no longer about the facts. What matters are often opinions – and opinions about opinions.

The decisive success factors in crisis communication are:

  • Speed
  • Credibility
  • Shaping expectations
  • Thinking in multiple scenarios

We offer crisis consulting and communication for all three key phases:

Prevention

  • Arena analyses, topics, context, persons, drivers/brakes, self-assertion capability in various publics (in-house analytical tools, AI-supported), monitoring setup and implementation (incl. dashboard function)
  • Creation of concepts, crisis handbooks, white papers, background material, Q&A & FAQ, subject guides, etc.
  • Media and crisis training (incl. simulations, camera practice, etc.)
  • Active topic strategies, also in difficult social and political environments, founding of initiatives
  • Executive coaching (especially for CEOs), organization of supporters
  • Internal communications and campaigns

 

Crisis intervention and ad-hoc support in the acute crisis phase

  • Ad-hoc support with media work (consulting, text, image, video, placement, (digital) events)
  • Social media editing
  • Temporary press officer role, also for specific topics or target groups
  • Full internal and external (on- and offline) communications, active topic placement
  • Creation of all materials (texts, Q&A papers, background materials, etc.)
  • Internal call center and documentation incl. evaluation
  • Independent organization of all communication measures

 

Crisis follow-up

  • Repositioning
  • Trust building and dialogue
  • Lessons learned: Adaptation of processes / handbooks

Our experience (selection)

  • Product recalls, litigation/support with legal proceedings, accidents, compliance violations, etc.
  • Reorganization, M&A with partial closures, dismissals, political implications or sales processes, relocations
  • Critical topics in sensitive industries: healthcare, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and increasingly food products as well, e.g., sugar, meat or fishing
  • Special topic insolvency: Standard procedure, self-administration, insolvency plan proceedings, ESUG protective shield proceedings – and in the future we will also cover the preventive restructuring framework