By Angela Kambarian, Founder, Essential Communications
It goes without saying that the pandemic still drives important messages, even though some parts of the globe are starting to get back to normal and get back into the swing of things. Keep in mind that timing is of the essence when it comes to crisis communications. Once a crisis occurs, the clarity and speed of your messaging is of paramount importance and can spell the difference between success and failure.
Now let’s take a look the International Olympics Committee (IOC) and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics organizers who, unfortunately, demonstrated how NOT to manage a highly publicized crisis ahead of the Games. By the way, its inability to adhere to the necessary safety guidelines for such an important and grandiose spectacle is quite shocking, to say the least. Not to mention the enormous backlash against Yashiro Mori, the Japanese Olympics Chief, for his highly inappropriate joke about the inclusion of women in board meetings and how these meetings take too long. I think a lot of organizations could learn from this situation and set the bar higher when it comes handling crisis.
As a matter of fact, there are quite a few blunders savvy business leaders and PR professionals could learn from.
Here are three lessons to consider:
When it comes to the news cycle, the pandemic still reigns supreme
Even though vaccinations are occurring all around the world, just a small percentage of Japanese citizens are fully vaccinated. While a state of emergency has been lifted, the 2021 Olympics has been influenced by Covid-19.
Now it’s crucial that companies keep an eye on the news cycle and make sure their response teams are well-equipped to communicate effectively and get your message across should a need arise or a crisis erupt.
Crisis PR is a critical skill your communications and executive teams should have to be successful
It goes without saying that the Olympics organizers have a history of delaying their responses to crises or scandals. These types of mistakes have a lot to do with poor timing. If a crisis occurs, make sure all your messages and communication materials are well-thought-out. A failure to communicate your activities and progress leaves your audience guessing, and as a result, building a campaign against you. It means that your PR team should be well-versed in crisis communications and make sure they release all information in a timely manner.
Long-term planning is vital to ensuring a large event
The IOC and Tokyo 2020 Olympics teams should have done proper planning, especially given the size and scope of the Games. Everyone would agree that crises like Covid-19 should have been on Tokyo’s radar right from the get go, especially considering how things were unfolding in the neighboring China. While your organization or startup may not be involved in anything remotely resembling the Olympics, you should always consider what small or big crisis could potentially occur and what steps you need to take to win the game. Are you planning to unveil an international product in the next couple of years? Think carefully about and anticipate all the setbacks and challenges that might potentially arise over that period of time. After that, try to determine if you are well-equipped to address them properly and in a timely manner. Are you bracing up for a big convention? Why don’t you take the time to figure out how accommodate the health and safety of your guests in a number of scenarios.
In conclusion, in these circumstances, careful thought and a team of skilled communicators are always your best bet to overcome any crisis and come out on top.
Ready to reignite your PR and marketing campaign? Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org, visit http://www.kambarian.com or call (516) 724-4372 today. Let’s connect and find new ways to build your business. Looking forward to speaking with you!