Crisis communication in the good times

It doesn't matter how long you've been in business - there's always something new to learn or ways to build on our skills.

I was reminded of this during the week when I was teaching a university class. We were discussing crisis communication, and the main elements an organisation needs to consider when facing a "cunch time".

One group of students had done some extra study on the topic, and were wowed by the realisation that the best form of crisis communication happens when there isn't a crisis at all. It's about having great relationships with your customers, staff, funders, suppliers, investers..in fact anyone generally caught up under that awful umbrella term of "stakeholder".

Many crises are simply issues that weren't managed well - or managed at all - and they grew to a point where they became public knowledge and started to have a serious impact on the organisation. Add social media to the mix, and the way bad news explodes around the globe, and you've quickly got a very bad situation on your hands.

Making sure you have genuine, proactive, two-way communication with everyone in and around your business will help you weed out issues before they turn nasty. It's not rocket science, but it's a sure-fire way to reduce the crunch times for your organisation.