I'm talking about what we do when something hits the fan.
Scan the media and it is no secret that employees get seriously injured, facilities suffer catastrophes, leaders behave in unsavory ways, products fail, and that severe acts of nature disrupt our ability to supply.
For a B2B Marcom professional, these situations present numerous extreme challenges simultaneously. First off, we (personally) are shocked/devastated/affected; secondly, we know that we are under the microscope and bright lights where even our slightest nuance is studied by our customers, our community, our neighbors, our families, our co-suppliers, etc.; thirdly, our own team may be confused,even vacillating, on positions, responses, and terms. Trust me, I am only hitting the tip of the iceberg. It can get really hairy!
So, why would anyone choose to "wing it" under such circumstances? Your best bet is to prepare for as many situations as you can imagine today - while you are unemotional, while you are calm, and while your team mates and professionals are able to help you develop scenarios and styles.
"Winging it" can produce incredibly damaging moments, like the one captured here during the BP oil spill. None of us want an "I'd like my life back" moment.
One of my favorite marcom advisers, Eric Mower and Associates, has just published a strategic guide containing 12 critical principles that should be followed during any crisis. They even go beyond that by also offering special reportson issues such as pandemics, online media management, and crisis management.
I've received training on this topic throughout my career and can assure you that it is rich and complex. If you think it is all about developing a statement, then taking the podium and reading your message, you need help. There are so many nuances involved with these scenarios - and with reality.
Start by reviewing EMA's 12 Critical Principles. Then move on to their special reports page and dive deeper, into their links offering guidance on topics such as "How To Identify A Crisis" and "Can You Afford Unpreparedness?" (on the special reports page).
One of the best consequences of developing crisis plans for B2B Marcom is that you have the opportunity to craft a plan and program that everyone on your team helps create - and buys into. Therefore, when you execute the plan well, there is little second guessing and criticism from your own team. You are, in essence, executing everyone's plan.
The next move is yours. Make it preemptory.