Sooner or later you make a mistake with the community. If not you’re not pushing the envelope, is my experience. Shel Holtz has a very good Crisis Communication primer.
When responding to a crisis, you should…
- Respond quickly, accurately, professionally and with great care
- Treat perceptions as fact
- Acknowledge mistakes (today, we’d say, “Be transparent”)
- Tailor messages to address the aggrieved or angry party
- Note the other side’s concerns; don’t be dismissive
- Make no public confrontations
- Emphasize the existing relationships in which you have built
capital; they are more credible during a crisis than your own
Good piece, recommended reading.