March-April 2019

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30 PalletCentral • March-April 2019 risis. It's something we all fear, yet few of us really believe it will happen to us. At this year's Annual Leadership Conference (ALC), our leaders had an important discussion about all the things that keep us up at night. Speaker Ed Kral, a crisis counselor from global crisis communications leader FleishmanHillard, reminded us all how important it is to have a plan before a crisis hits. Ed encouraged conference attendees to begin preparing as if a crisis could hit tomorrow … because it could. And when that happens, there is little to no time to adequately respond unless you have a plan. The main takeaway from Ed's presentation was this: A crisis won't necessarily ruin your business, but a poor crisis response will. In case you missed it, here are key points he made about developing a smart and effective crisis plan. Get Ready Now Now is the time to take steps to protect your business's reputation. Crises are almost always unexpected. That's why it's so important to know in advance what your first steps will be when a crisis hits – from natural disaster to workplace violence to product failure. Your preparation should begin with the formation of a crisis team, made up of leaders from across your organization. Establishing this leadership structure will accelerate crisis assessment, enable better decision-making and help avoid confusion and miscommunication. To guide the team's efforts, it's important to build a crisis playbook that includes, among other things, internal and external communications protocols, prepared messaging and statements for a range of potential scenarios, and a plan for managing both traditional and social media. C Don't Let a Crisis Define You: COMMUNICATIONS

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