Negative media attention can happen suddenly to any company, including door and window companies. An employee could get arrested, a company truck could lose its load on a crowded highway or a COVID-19 outbreak could occur in the workplace. Negative media attention is a nightmare for most organizations, but it’s how a company deals with it that determines how much damage it causes. According to Olivia Tormento with Akhia Communications, the best way to combat it is to be prepared. Tormento told [DWM] how companies can prepare for such situations.

If you do not have a crisis communications plan in place or a rapid response plan, there is no time like the present to create one,” she said.

The first step for any company is to identify a crisis team who should be notified immediately of the issue and help steer decisions moving forward. Who would be the spokesperson to speak on behalf of the company to media?

Keeping your team small and nimble will help navigate situations quickly and effectively,” said Tormento, who recommends that companies get their spokesperson media trained so they are as comfortable as possible speaking on behalf of the company.

The next step is for the team members to work through sample scenarios, as scary as it can be, that could happen at their company. The idea is to follow the old adage of being prepared for the worst but hoping for the best.

For example, what if an employee got hurt or hurt somebody? Or someone on your plant floor tested positive for COVID-19? Then, work through each scenario to plan out your exact statement, response and action plan for internal and external audiences,” explained Tormento.

It’s important to act quickly when something happens, but not too quickly that a company doesn’t think through its response. She recommends that a company communicate internally and externally to ensure employees are aware and not surprised by the situation. Once the situation has calmed, try to do a post-mortem evaluation that addresses what was done well and what could be done better next time.

Feeling prepared will help a negative situation feel less scary and daunting. However, having a public relations or marketing agency to counsel you could help you plan even further for these situations,” said Tormento.

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