Communication plan is the key in a corporate crisis

VeechTylenol, Bridgestone Firestone, Columbine High School, Exxon, McDonald’s, United Airlines, American Airlines — all of these organizations have been hit by a major crisis. Companies never know when they might be struck by a terrorist attack, a major product recall as a result of deaths or injury, workplace violence, a fire or explosion, a nasty scandal or sudden death of the company’s leader. In today’s media climate, any small or large organization can land on the front page of the daily newspaper or the six o’clock TV news before the dust has hit the ground. Business managers need to be prepared for such an eventuality with a detailed crises communication plan, says Annette Veech, senior lecturer of business communications at the Olin School of Business at Washington University.