Saturday, February 28, 2009

Crisis and Communication

Media are playing a key role in this crisis. Indeed they are influencing public opinion in how critical the current situation is.

Companies have learnt about how to deal with crisis. Every enterprise and potential profit is coming with an equal probability of failure and problems. As in the stock exchange market, in business, the higher the risk the higher the potential benefit.

Therefore to prevent potential crisis, companies have set up departments to forecast potential issues and processes to solve them. You can find risk management in the financial world, or health crisis in food companies (coke in Europe with infected cans in 1999).

Communications remain the key to thrive during the crisis. Indeed, what is very important is to reassure customers even though you are impacted. Lehman Brothers crashed because they haven't been able to communicate on their problems nor to convince clients and shareholders they were heading anywhere.

The crisis is problematic more about how you communicate on it that the actual potential impact it might get. Biaised information is leading to confusion and panic.

So far I haven't notice much companies able to provide innovative and convincing communication to keep their customers updated and loyal. Still, communication and transparency might be the best way to keep customers buying in this trouble time.