The Reality of Crisis Communications

The Reality of Crisis Communications

by Andy Likes, Senior Vice President

In light of the recent events in the media, we wanted to share this piece written last year by our crisis communications and reputation management pro, Andy Likes.

Not “If,” but “When”

Throughout my 20+ years in broadcast journalism and public relations, I’ve seen my share of crisis issues. They happen every single day. I tell my crisis communications training classes that it’s not a matter of “if” a crisis happens, but “when.” Whether you are part of a small non-profit organization or a major multi-national corporation, you are vulnerable. It could be an employee issue, a cyber-attack, lawsuit, natural disaster or any other number of things, but it’s only a matter of time before your reputation is on the line for one reason or another. The biggest issue in a crisis is time!

We have clients come to The Vandiver Group in one of three phases of a crisis; pre-event, mid-event, and post-event. The clients who come to us before a crisis happens are being proactive. They want us to help write a plan, create messages, and draft template press releases before things go bump in the night. They may or may not see a crisis on the horizon, but they know anything can happen. Other clients call us mid-crisis, or after the crisis is over, for reputation management and overall communications to mitigate the damage.

Proactive Crisis Planning

Implementing a crisis plan before a crisis occurs can save you three things: time, money, and frustration.  Planning ahead saves you time. It’s easier to write a plan and use it as your guidebook when bad things happen, rather than “wing it” and address things as they occur. Planning takes preparation and time, but it’s a fraction of the time you could spend on a crisis when you’re in the middle of it. Having a succinct, understandable plan that is easy to find can also be the key to rebuilding your reputation after the crisis is over.

Having the right messages that are timely and well-delivered helps build trust with employees, the media and the public, no matter what the issue may be. Holding information back because you don’t know everything may seem easy, but it’s not the best way to handle a crisis. Give all the information you have at the time and say you’ll be back with more when you have it. It’s like ripping off a bandage – it might hurt initially, but the quicker you respond, the quicker the crisis will be over. Ultimately you want to get from the crisis to the post-event stage, so you can rebuild your reputation as quickly as possible.  That all begins with the crisis plan and having your team ready for anything.

TVG has helped companies in all three stages of a crisis for more than 20 years. Are you ready to tackle a potential crisis? How can TVG help you? Tweet us @VandiverGroup or email info@vandivergroup.com for more information.

Making the Most Out of Your Weekend: 8 Ways to Recharge and Get Motivated for the Upcoming Week

Katie Miller, Assistant Account Executive

 

What are you doing this weekend? Will those activities lead to a better work week? If you feel more tired on Mondays, lack motivation during the week or are in serious need of a pick-me-up, here are eight tips to help you use your weekends to recharge and prepare for the week ahead.

 

1. Take time for yourself.

Sometimes we try to cram so many activities into our weekend – grocery shopping, weekend trips with friends, date nights, cleaning, etc. – that we forget to take some time to be alone. Instead of filling your days full of activities, make some time for yourself, even if it’s only for a few hours. Some of my favorite “me” time activities include baking, reading a book, or taking a walk . I always feel refreshed and centered afterwards. Making time for yourself allows you to recharge and reflect on life, think through problems, or just escape from your other responsibilities for a while.

 

2. Take a break from technology.  

Remember what you used to do for fun before “fun” was found within the depths of an iPhone? We live in a world where technology rules over almost everything that we do. Knowing that most of our work weeks will be consumed by computer screens, it is important that we take some time to unplug on the weekend. Try going somewhere without your phone, or staying off of social media for a little while. You’d be surprised at how cleansing it feels to not be constantly glued to a screen, checking in on the latest apps, or replying to emails. Giving yourself a break from technology will reduce headaches and help you sleep better, and who doesn’t want that on their weekend?
 

3. Plan a mid-week pick-me-up!

Take some time on your weekend to plan a mid-week event, giving you something to look forward to before the next weekend. Plan a Wednesday date night and try that new restaurant that you’ve had your eye on, or see a that movie everyone in the office is talking about. Looking forward to Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday is much more exciting than waiting for the week to pass by until Friday. Having a little bit of fun mid-week will help you relax outside of work, thus boosting productivity during your hours in the office.

 

4. Sweat it out.

As we all know, exercise is imperative for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Exercise reduces stress, releases endorphins that increase your mood, and boosts your overall morale throughout the week. Take some time on the weekend to get moving, as your time may be limited during the week. Even activities as small as walking the dog can make a huge difference in your health. Find a yoga class or a hiking buddy and a killer playlist and get your blood flowing over the weekend! Bonus points if you sweat your stresses away on BOTH days – you’ve definitely earned that extra cookie.

 

5. Prep for your week.

I always notice that there are certain parts of my weekday morning routine that slow me down, and that my days go much more smoothly if I prepare them in advance on the weekend. Simple things like preparing your meals for the week can make your morning/evening routines each day far less hectic. I prepare my lunches that I will be taking to work with me in advance. I find that it helps me stay on time in the mornings. And, as an added bonus, if you prepare your meals in advance, you are far more likely to practice healthy eating habits, giving you more energy to power through your work week!

 

6. Declutter your space.

Do you find that the amount of clutter in your home increases as the week goes on? Me too. Like many, I get stressed out by clutter. No, cleaning isn’t the most fun activity to spend do on your weekend, but for many, it can be therapeutic. Organization makes every part of your weekly routine easier, so be sure you take some time to clean. A clear space equals a clear mind. And a clear mind will lead to a more stress-free week.
 

7. Make plans to see friends.

It’s not uncommon to become more introverted than usual during the work week. I find that there are weeks when I am just too tired to step outside of my routine (work, gym, dinner, prep for the next day, sleep), to catch up with good friends. That being said, I always make sure that I put time aside to see them on the weekends. Seeing your friends is a great way to step outside of any work-week stressors, relax, and have a good time – even if it is just for girl’s night out or Sunday brunch. Seeing your friends will keep you centered so you have a fresh state of mind on Monday morning.
 

8. Make a list of your goals for the week.

On Sunday evening, I find myself sitting down and reflecting on the previous week, and the week ahead. Making a list of everything I’ve accomplished the past week, and setting goals for myself for the upcoming week helps me feel motivated and ready to tackle Monday morning. Making a list of goals will help you stay on track and hold you accountable for your own productivity throughout the week. Reflecting on everything you’ve already accomplished will make you feel like a superhero! The perfect vibe for Monday morning— if you ask me.

 

 

 

Do you use any of these tips in your weekend routine? Have any more ideas on how to maximize your weekend? Tweet us @VandiverGroup, and let us know!

BLOG

 

10 Things You Need to Know If You Work with Millennials

Abbey Theban, Account Executive

 

As a millennial in the communications field, I know how much every brand, organization and corporation wants to get inside our heads. Read more

Staying Healthy at the Workplace All Year Long

Laura Vandiver, VP of Research & Strategic Insight

 

Research shows that about six weeks into any given year is around the time when (you guessed it) most people fall off of their New Year’s resolution fitness goals. It’s hard to keep fitness goals going when the days are short and cold. But, there are lots of things you can do during your work day to help improve your overall health and wellness. Read more

Super Bowl 50 Ads

Jesse Selz, Graphic Designer

 

I’d be lying if I said I was big fan of football, or that I even attend Super Bowl events for the purpose of watching the game. However, there are many other coexisting elements which are persuasive enough to make me an active participant: all the food and refreshments, watching the halftime entertainment, being part of the Super Bowl social-culture, and most importantly — the commercials. Read more

Social Media “Best in Show”: The Brands that Rocked Social in 2015, Part 2

Abbey Theban, Assistant Account Executive

 

Did you catch Part 1 of our totally awesome social media awards show blog? Now it’s time for Part 2! Check out the rest of our picks for the most inspiring/hilarious/innovative social media accounts. We’re giving you the best accounts to follow in 2016. See which brands made the cut! Read more

Social Media “Best in Show”: The Brands that Rocked Social in 2015, Part 1

Abbey Theban, Assistant Account Executive

 

So this blog post is going to be a little different. No advice, no lessons… just an appreciation for some good ‘ole social media accounts. We’ve decided that brands aren’t getting enough recognition for their social media successes. That’s why we’re making up our own awards show… and yours truly is the judge. Read more

Giving Tuesday is the New Black (Friday)

Melissa Breer, Account Executive

For the past several years, Black Friday sales have been starting earlier, with many stores offering sales days before Thanksgiving and stores now opening on Thanksgiving. Read more

When “Spiking Your Friend’s Eggnog” Becomes a Public Relations Crisis

Abbey Theban, Assistant Account Executive

 

‘Tis the season for print and digital ads alike to be donned with holiday cheer. From red and green- themed layouts to festive ad copy, retailers are getting in the holiday spirit. But can holiday cheer be taken too far? Read more

Brands Enticed by Pumpkin Spice: LTOs Create Lucrative Trends

Abbey Theban, Assistant Account Executive

 

It’s October. And you know what that means—PSL season is upon us! PSL, the oh-so-affectionate abbreviation and viral hashtag that Starbucks has given to its famous Pumpkin Spice Latte, has been deemed the official drink of fall (and the drink of choice for anyone that Instagrams pictures of their food on a regular basis). Read more