How To Be An Effective Crisis Spokesperson

  • First, be as open and honest as possible. Make yourself available – anything less will make it appear as though you’re trying to hide something. Be approachable and credible, but don’t try to make light of the situation. Humor always backfires in a crisis situation.
  • Don’t speak if your judgment is impaired – if you have had a drink, or haven’t slept in 24 hours, relay a media request to someone else who is alert and has a clear head.
  • Drop “no comment” from your spokesperson vocabulary. In the public’s mind, “no comment” often translates as “we’re in a panic” or “we’re hiding something.” If you can’t give the facts at that time, explain what you are doing to get the facts. And when you get information, pass it along.
  • Don’t try to pin blame on someone else. If your business is involved in or in any way responsible for a crisis, immediately establish the extent of your responsibility. Shifting blame makes you look unprofessional. Nevertheless, you should publicize what you determine (not speculate) to be the root cause of the crisis.

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