One of the most difficult challenges any business can face is how it manages a crisis. In high pressured situations where your reputation – and business success – are at stake, Sapience Communications can give you the guidance to respond promptly and decisively – and minimise disruption.
To make sure you’re prepared for any eventuality, we can work with you to anticipate threats on the horizon and identify and plug gaps in your contingency planning. In the event of a crisis, our team will proactively communicate with your stakeholders and the media – and ensure that the facts are represented accurately – so that you’re always ahead of the story.
Sapience Communications has decades of collective experience in crisis communications. Our team members have worked with some of the largest and most complex organisations across the public and private sectors, regularly advising C-suites and Boards on the actions that they need to take to manage a crisis effectively. We also understand the changing nature of crisis communications, and the need to not simply monitor online and social media reaction and sentiment, but to anticipate the trajectory of stories with segmented audiences; to know when and how to intervene in debates using the latest tools and techniques.
Our results-driven team has managed and advised on crises including deaths, industrial accidents, cyber-attacks and data loss, regulatory action, police investigations, Coroners’ and court verdicts, protests and undercover filming. Our sector experience in crisis communications covers health and social care (including private, voluntary and NHS organisations), food and drink, beauty and cosmetics, education (including universities), transport, tourism, technology, property and construction.
About Crisis Communications
What is crisis Management?
Crisis communications (sometimes referred to as crisis management) is about controlling as much as possible the way a negative situation is perceived.
The starting point for any effective crisis communications is to accept that, even after doing everything you can to prevent them, crises will occur. It is therefore vital to not only plan for them as much as possible in advance, but to know which audiences will take an active interest in the news and what you will say to them.
But crisis communications is not a reactive-only insurance policy. It means taking proactive measures to engage with and build relations with stakeholders, developing trust and ensuring that you achieve a fair hearing when responding to criticism and negative headlines in future.
And just as good crisis communications begins well before any crisis occurs (in investing in crisis prevention, planning and preparation), effective crisis comms does not end once a crisis has been resolved. Instead, good crisis communications involves constantly learning from events and mistakes as they occur. The Sapience team will help you to do this by providing constant monitoring and analysis of crises, as well as advising on future crisis communications strategies and providing crisis management training.
Crisis communication activities
As crisis communications specialists, Sapience will work with you to establish a permanently on-call team, either by providing additional capacity through our own experts, or training your in-house team to make them better prepared.
As well as drafting all necessary internal and external communications materials (including media statements, letters to staff and stakeholders, social media posts, scripts, slides and Q&As for presentations and tailored messages to customers and clients), we also provide senior counsel as and when required.
We undertake and enable you to undertake the activities which ensure that you strike the right tone, convey clearly the measures you are taking to address the crisis, keep key audiences updated and demonstrate your own accountability. Below we outline some of our most common services provided to clients.
Most common crisis communications services
- Creating crisis management plans
- Delivering crisis communication training
- Devising crisis intervention strategies
- Delivering crisis intervention services
- Conducting vulnerability audits
- Running crisis simulations
- Providing rapid crisis response and management
- Integrating crisis communications with wider reputation management
Crisis Communications Strategy
A crisis communications strategy of course has to be tailored to every organisation and sector. But what all effective crisis management strategies have at their heart is an understanding of the wider brand, reputation and tone of voice which must be clearly conveyed.
In short, they have a clear understanding of and objective for the ultimate positive impression which you want audiences to take away.
If you are looking for a good PR crisis management agency, it is important to find one that understands the difference between good strategy and merely good tactics. You need an agency that can anticipate, map and understand the risks you face, identify the stakeholders who need to be engaged with, and scenario plan so that you are ready to communicate proactively and not just reactively.
We are crisis intervention specialists, with the experience and expertise of working with clients of all sizes across all sectors, who have the track record to deliver for you.
No company can completely foresee and prevent public image crises (And we would never believe one that said it could). What can be done is ensuring you implement crisis communications best practices and have crisis communications checklists so that you are minimising the chance of a crisis as much as possible.
You absolutely will. The online and offline are inextricably linked. You need access to the PR crisis communications experts who understand this and know how to develop integrated strategies and tactics.
We sit down with our clients to understand their exact needs and price transparently, based on the amount of time and the number of Sapience team members required to get the job done.
They are interchangeable terms. Both are about controlling as much as possible the way a negative situation is perceived.
Anticipate, plan and simulate. Sapience can work with you to identify the crises you are likely to face. We then plan the best responses based on the possible scenarios, and can also run simulations of a crisis so that you and your team are as well prepared as possible.
Work with crisis communications agencies who have the knowledge, insight and experience to take a strategic approach, rather than just reacting tactically.
Any crisis is likely to attract negative coverage. That is something that you can never guarantee preventing entirely, but it can be minimised. However, the worst examples of disastrous crisis comms are not the same as the worst crises. We have worked with organisations who have suffered loss of life, and yet have been praised or their response. By contrast, the worst crisis communications ends up becoming the story.
Any organisation which cares about not only its reputation but its bottom line and its future.
Yes, not just because of loss of sales or income, but politicians and regulators may decide to intervene if they feel that you are not up to the job of not only putting right what’s gone wrong, but ensuring that it never happens again.
We’d love to hear from you. You can get in touch with us to discuss your corporate PR needs using this form and we’ll get back to you as soon as feasible.