Crisis Communication Is Like …Surfing
I don’t know about you but today I have started writing my New Year’s Resolution List. One of the things I am eager to do next year is to learn how to surf. It’s cool, risky and very challenging. What I like most about it is the sense of uncertainty and the way you need to survive with a minimum set of resources.
Surfin is like crisis management, don’t you think? If you actually compare some of the basic tutorials in both disciplines, you will probably find a lots of similarities. So, once you master the ability to stay upright on the board, you can easily gain a confidence for dealing with some of the most severe crisis in the corporate world.
How to Start
When a crisis occurs, the first thing to consider is finding the balance point. Use your company’s strengths and all those positive qualities that cannot be doubted by the others. This will help you to balance out all the negative publications and unfair accusations. For example, if your organization is being socially responsible and undertakes many charitable events, this actually can help to save your stakeholders’ trust and turn the crisis into unexpected corporate profit.
The second crucial habit that must be developed is the ability to respond as quickly as possible to the changing environment. The speed is absolutely everything for both surfing and crisis management. It gives you not only a competitive edge, but also the power to predict every negative outcomes. At the same time, do not forget to keep it low once you get the situation back in control. In almost every zoology book it is stated that the most dangerous moments for the target is right after its escape form the predator. So if you keep looking at your feet, you will definitely fall down again. Instead, you should “cover the back of your head” and protect all your vital assets from further damages. Stay “under the water” as long as you can, but never lose the honesty in your conversations.
Safety should always be in the back of your mind, which is a reason why you should never be surfing alone. You never know what might go wrong even on the smallest of waves – its good to have someone who can help you out if you get into trouble.