New Rules for Crisis Management in a Digital Era

TORONTO, March 25, 2015 /CNW/ - Social media and technology have changed the traditional practices of crisis management. Today's digital era calls for new rules in making effective decisions in real time during a crisis. John Crean, National Managing Partner at NATIONAL Public Relations, today led a seminar Crisis Communication: Not If, but When at the Toronto Region Board of Trade. With a career of industry-leading crisis experience, Crean discussed how to anticipate organizational crisis risk, prepare appropriate messaging and positioning, and responding appropriately to all stakeholders.

"The new principles of crisis management can be counter-intuitive to the disciplined and business-savvy executive who puts a priority on full knowledge, thoughtful consideration of the options and who speaks only when they have something to say," said John Crean. "Those who anticipate and plan in advance of a crisis will have the instincts and processes in place to make fast, smart decisions that will go a long way to saving your reputation and potentially your business."

Crisis Communication: Not If, but When touched upon seven key principles to keep in mind when a crisis strikes:

  1. Act short term, think long term;
  2. The public interest is the company's interest;
  3. Pay attention to social media but don't be a slave to it;
  4. Transparency is your friend;
  5. Fast is the new good;
  6. When the company is at fault, apologize; and
  7. When the crisis is over, focus on reputation.

"Social media and technology have changed the game," said Crean. "You have to act immediately, communicate on multiple channels to multiple audiences and defend your decisions in real time to the media, the public, customers and regulators."

Speaking to a sold out crowd, John emphasized that a major crisis can be survived, but an organization only has one chance to get it right. If mishandled, a crisis can critically damage an organization's reputation. If handled well, it can solidify an organization's position in the mind of investors, customers and the general public.

About John Crean

John Crean has extensive crisis and issues management experience in a variety of business sectors, including government, professional services, food services, health care and retail. He works closely with senior executives and boards of directors, managing internal and external communications strategies associated with sensitive issues. He has provided counsel in areas including but not limited to class action lawsuits, corporate restructuring, insider trading, human resources issues, data security and product tampering and recalls.

John is the Chairman of the Board of the Hospice Palliative Care Ontario (HPCO), and is on the Board of Directors of the New Haven Learning Centre, a unique school for children living with autism. John speaks regularly to media and industry events on issues in public relations and reputation. He is regular faculty member at the Directors College, an accredited corporate director development program that leads to a university designation Chartered Director (C.Dir.), teaching issues and crisis management.

About NATIONAL Public Relations

NATIONAL Public Relations is the largest public relations consultancy in Canada with offices in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Saint John, Halifax, St. John's, New York and London. The Firm serves leading corporate, government and institutional clients and offers the full range of communications services, including corporate communications, investor relations, public affairs, employee engagement, public consultation and participation, marketing, technology and healthcare communications, as well as digital communications. It provides medical communications, public relations and clinical trial support services to a wide section of the leading pharmaceutical and medical devices companies internationally under the name AXON Communications. NATIONAL also owns digital marketing firm Sonic Boom, A Customer Experience Agency with offices in Toronto and Montreal. NATIONAL is a subsidiary of RES PUBLICA Consulting Group. At the international level, the Firm is affiliated with BursonMarsteller, part of WPP Group, a world leader in marketing communications.

SOURCE NATIONAL Public Relations - Toronto

Image with caption: "NATIONAL Public Relations (CNW Group/NATIONAL Public Relations - Toronto)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150325_C6342_PHOTO_EN_13523.jpg

For further information: Jasmine Dhaliwal, NATIONAL Public Relations, Tel.: 416-848-1702, jdhaliwal@national.ca


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