Ongoing Communication in an Evolving Crisis

A crisis doesn't stand still.

When the initial crisis event occurs, it sets off a cascade of new information, questions and events that require a response. If you don’t address new developments in a timely way, you will quickly lose control of the crisis. Managing a crisis communication effort is very much like playing a game of Tetris.

Once you begin to play Tetris, shapes start to fall into your field of play. You not only have to address the falling piece quickly but also strategically know how best to place it, allowing new pieces of the puzzle to fit while looking ahead to the next piece. And as soon as you clear some space, the game speeds up and the pieces fall faster. You begin to fear each new shape because no matter how skilled you are at Tetris, a few wrong moves or indecisive hesitation and you create a wall you cannot tear down.

In a crisis, it is hard not to fear the new information and questions that constantly fall into your inbox. It is hard not to feel paralyzed by them. And if you give into that fear and refuse to communicate or respond to your crisis, you will build a wall between your company and your stakeholders.

Successful crisis communication requires a strong plan and a skilled team in place to nimbly shape new information and provide tailored and rapid responses.
New information will become public – almost always sooner rather than later. Unanswered questions will only raise more questions. Instead of being overwhelmed by new information or inquiries, a capable crisis team will review, understand, apply your message, and then communicate quickly and strategically. Your team’s analysis of each new piece of information may not be perfect, but with continued communication during the crisis, your company will avoid creating a wall that could last well beyond the crisis.
For more information on crisis communication strategies, please contact The Jeff Eller Group. To understand the pressures of Tetris, please enjoy this video.