Crisis Communications

Crises usually strike without warning and can dismantle years of reputation-building. Not all crises involve loss of life or property; they can include high-profile lawsuits, an Internet assault, product tampering, product liability, slander or libel.

John Vastyan has counseled executives, scientists and supervisors at many organizations – before, during and after crises – to safeguard corporate or institutional reputation and equity.

Planning is key. The best time to battle a crisis is before it occurs. Common Ground will audit your current communications structure, assess your readiness, determine the likelihood of crises, identify key stakeholders and develop a crisis communications plan with tools such as web sites, instantaneously-activated communications “trees,” and emergency e-mail lists. We can conduct media training for spokespeople, and help with development of a media center “war” room. So when a crisis occurs, your company will take a position of strength, not react in weakness.

Stakeholder communications. Many diverse audiences are affected by crises: employees, neighbors, government officials and investors are but a few. Common Ground will help you create your message and communicate it to these targets quickly and effectively.

Crisis media relations. Major media quickly give crises their undivided attention. That’s why they are one of the most important audiences during a crisis. We will work closely with your management to develop a response strategy, craft messages, research editorial biases, prepare statements, coordinate media interviews and, if necessary, schedule editorial board meetings.

Union unrest. Challenges with trade unions can be disruptive and unpredictable. And they have the potential to paint an organization in an unflattering light. Common Ground can develop a communications strategy to bolster union confidence during this sensitive time period.

At the critical time of a crisis, an organization’s executives must turn their attention to the problem at hand. What they don’t need is for failures in communication to become a new source of irritation. Having a reliable and experienced crisis communications partner is an enormous benefit to the company, helping to protect the reputation of the company for years to come.