In the wake of a crisis, many managers fall prey to PCSD: Post-Crisis Stress Disorder. Symptoms include hiding away and ignoring the issues, total denial, and Pollyanna’ish happy talk. It’s as though everyone believes the crisis will magically go away. It doesn’t. And the damage to a brand’s reputation can be almost impossible to overcome.

This is a time to understand that not all crises are bad. Sometimes a crisis is just the wake up call your brand needed. At When + How, we believe dealing with the aftermath of a crisis is even more critical than your immediate response. We have developed a 12-step program to help brands weather a crisis and emerge stronger and wiser:

The 12-step program

  • 1. Admit your brand’s mistakes. It’s the first step to moving past them.
  • 2. Embrace urgency and take immediate steps to rehabilitate your brand.
  • 3. Believe that the power to change is in your hands because … it is. You may be a victim of bad press, consumer hysteria, rumormongering, or lousy timing but you are not helpless.
  • 4. Bring in a third-party specialist to analyze communications strategies. This is a time when you really need an outside, objective, dispassionate perspective.
  • 5. Believe that a higher “purpose-driven brand” is critical to success. If you can’t articulate what your brand stands for, there’s a good chance no one else in your company can either.
  • 6. Embrace internal change and make a corporate commitment to next steps.
  • 7. Take a communications/marketing inventory. You may want to rethink or postpone some of the initiatives you have in the pipeline.
  • 8. Fix external corporate messaging. This is an opportunity to redefine your brand. When + How excels at this kind of strategic rebranding.
  • 9. Evaluate and address systemic issues that create crises. An outside perspective like ours can be especially helpful here.
  • 10. Train managers in your company to spot and address crisis triggers. This training is included in When + How’s crisis rehab program.
  • 11. Build scenarios for potential future crises and work out strategies to prevent or defuse them. This exercise is integral to When + How’s Crisis Rehab.
  • 12. Don’t let a crisis hold you back. Respond to opportunities in real time, as they arise. Look to the future.
  • Whether you are in the throes of a crisis or have just weathered one, When + How can help get you back on track.

A MOONSHOT GOAL

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PROTECTING RIGHTS, CHANGING MINDS

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