- Issues are best addressed early and head-on – thus avoiding a crisis. That is the essence of effective public affairs.
- The best crisis is the one that is prevented. And this can be the result of management commitment to listening to and spotting early warnings; effective management of issues before they become crises; and a culture that fosters a commitment to crisis readiness as part of the corporate structure.
- As the Tylenol tamperings of the 1980s set a new paradigm for crisis management, the events of September 11, 2001 and the ongoing war on terrorism have set yet another paradigm, which includes a call for companies to:
- Make a full-time commitment to crisis management
- Employ communications techniques to maximize crisis prevention
- Address crisis preparation as a global commitment
- Be sensitive to the communication of risk.
- Recognize the Web as both an asset and a threat
- Reputation is crucial. It is fragile and can be severely damaged if communication during a crisis is not handled with candor and concern.
- Preparation pays countless dividends when a crisis has hit. Bad things do happen to good companies and organizations. Those who overcome the bad times most easily are those who have prepared to face the difficulties.
- Decisions in a crisis must be based on the facts, not instinct alone.
- Delivering bad news can be painful. The faster and more directly you get it out, the sooner you can move beyond initial confusion and impressions – and the more credible you will be in the long run.
- Above all – companies that show they care about the customers, their communities and the public at large fare better than those who don't.