When you own a business, you need to know the intricacies of all parts of operation. Even if you’re not directly involved in every process, you should at least have an understanding of what makes your business successful. Not only does this establish credibility with your employees and customers, but it also gives you the knowledge necessary to prepare for and handle any crisis that could hit your company at any time. While some industries are not as exposed to risks as others, you should still do a risk assessment with a qualified public affairs consultant to find out how your business can recover from potential liabilities.
Preparation and Readiness
Using public affairs consulting services exposes you to all the different ways you need to respond to a crisis to make sure your public feels confident that you’ll be able to solve the problem. Whether you’re a large corporation or an up and coming small business, when you have a crisis plan in place, there’s less chance of you being caught unaware when something happens. Even if some of the scenarios sound illogical, putting together a list of potential problems and solutions covers all bases. If you’re unsure of how to do this, work with a public affairs consultant. He or she has probably seen businesses struggle through and recover from numerous situations and will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table.
If the unfortunate day arrives where your business suffers a setback, financial crisis, product recall or other situation where your customers, clients or investors are directly affected, you need to act quickly. Ideally, you’re working with a public affairs agency that can immediately address the situation, gather all necessary details and formulate a plan to inform, assure and resolve. Your public needs to know that you’re aware of the problem, working to fix it and feel confident in the company’s eventual recovery. There are many different facets to crisis response such as social media management, online reputation management, media relations and message development. Working with an expert who knows how to navigate these outlets allows you the time to focus on your business.
You might think that once the problem is solved that the crisis is over, but unfortunately there is still work to be done. Public affairs consulting professionals will want to walk with you through the post-crisis recovery process, which includes basic impact assessment, stakeholder communications and change management. It is also important to address your reputation following the crisis. Your customers or clients may be feeling abandoned, unheard or anxious about continuing to use your products or services, so it’s up to your business to assure them that this problem is not going to happen again. Address concerns, answer questions and encourage open dialogue. This is the mark of a company that cares.
Safeguard Your Business
It’s never a waste of time to invest in the services of a public affairs consultant. He or she will be able to work with you to develop risk assessment plans, crisis management methods and recovery objectives so your business bounces back.