Get Positive Buzz: How Image Recovery and Prepared Crisis Management Can Help Save Millions

May 12, 2018


When we talk about debacles, mishaps, accidents, crimes, disasters, or fiascos, media strategy and focused crisis concepts should be part of crisis management training – for communications division staff members in any size company. Handling a crisis once it can be very complex. However, when plans are in place beforehand, businesses can rise above any unexpected situation.

What's the first thing a communications division should say when answering questions about a media debacle? If the plan is not to make a statement, it will only leave the media to form their hypothetical stories. Having a prepared statement means planning ahead and knowing what you are going to say if there is ever an emergency.

When you have a plan of action, it means having the ability to withstand a crisis within minutes. Implementing a media plan in case of a crisis is like putting together a playbook of protocols where you take full responsibility. An important factor for preparedness recovery is that a crisis can hit any company, no matter the size, notoriety, services, or reputation. We saw these types of missteps happen with the food-safety crisis of Chipotle, a communications debacle of Paula Deen, and the emissions "defeat device" crisis at Volkswagen.

When Bad Things Happen to Good Companies

If you are, for example, a reputable law firm and your organization are being accused of over-billing customers, then it needs to be addressed immediately. Furthermore, if the person is charged with an alleged crime and is the son of the CEO, then you have another problem. If the son of the owner happens to be married to a financial CEO on Wall Street, that's another story to answer for the media. In other words, the crisis can lead to one story after another, and then another. We see this happen in the press often, where one story leaks out, then other information leaks out, and you have a messy list of fake stories and lots of negative spins.

Social Media Helps Spin the Spin

Today, with Twitter, Facebook, Huffington Post, CNN, MSNBC, Daily Beast, The Nation, Fox News and other media portals, your story reacts like a runaway train. By nine in the morning, when offices are beginning to open, your story is already out and spinning in every direction online. If you have more than twenty-five employees and you work with the public, it's always a good idea to have a media plan of action in place. If you do not, now is the time to begin the process of developing one.

Where Can We Start?

Regardless of the situation, there are key touch-points to consider when you're asked to write a crisis communications playbook. They include:

· Never speak to the media without a statement prepared in advance.

· Call upon those persons involved in the crisis and have a meeting of the minds.

· Make sure others in the division keep the media at a distance until you can assess what to say and not say when you meet with them.

· Know the facts before speaking to the media and be sure nothing of substance is being left to spin.

· If the statement is written and prepared beforehand, the media can not take your words and rewrite the story.

· It's always better to call a press conference (if needed) or send a press statement to media before they write their storylines.

· Stay on top of the issue and be prepared to make another statement or send out follow-ups once you have an opportunity to discuss the matter further with your group / team.

· Remember, these days, whatever your statement is will remain posted on search engines, and there is no taking it off later. So prepare to write a playbook about how to respond in the event of a crisis. What's important is that most companies do not have crises very often. But when and if you do, you want to be prepared. It's better to have a playbook and not need to implement the plan than to need it and not have one.


I'm not sure if companies today realize how essential it is to have a crisis communication plan that outlines specific steps to be taken within the first hours of a crisis? The playbook should spell out the where's and how's of who will serve as the spokesperson, what will be said and not said, and when it should be stated.

Making an official statement means having the fact sheets ready to hand out ahead of time. An excellent crisis plan is everything you need, when you need it, ready to go, located in one place. Dealing with a crisis is easier to recover from when your company is prepared.


  • Carnell Carnell May 12, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    Ali, when I refuse rituals and just sit there my mind keeps telling me to get up and do something. It’s hard for me to just sit and do nothing I feel extremely agitated when I do. How do I stop this? Will it ever go away?

  • Ruth-Marie Sommer May 12, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    Hi Ali,
    If you read this, I just want to thank you for your effort you take to help. It's highly appreciated! Thanks and greetings from Germany:)

  • Alexey Karpaev 1492 May 12, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    Hi, Ali, my OCD revolves around a philosophical theory called Solipsism. It states that the outer world with all the people living there may be the figment of my imagination, the only thing that exists is my self. There is no way to disprove this concept (as well as to prove it). Because of that I fear that this theory may be true, that I'm alone in the universe. My OCD makes me constantly obsess about Solipsism because I do fear loneliness.

    Following your recommendations I stopped performing mental rituals aimed at disproving Solipsism (for a month now) and I'm waiting for improvement in my condition. How will I react to this theory when I recover? How will my OCD thoughts lose meaning to me, if the theory itself can't be disproved? How do you react to this Matrix-like stuff?

  • Tessa Sullivan May 12, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    Hi, I've been dealing with this type of pure o (at least i think it is for a few month now). And I feel like no one else has it. Basically what happens is that a certain number of subject triggers me and everytime i'll be witnessing a situation wether it's something that I see on tv, movies, youtube, like something horrible happening in the world, awful images my ocd is making me think of someone i love, like their names and faces will pop in my mind. It also happen in visual forms. It's even been happening while reading words like a word who'll make me feel uncomfortable, like inappropriate subjects and the name of someone from my family will pop. It's making me really upset because I don't want to think about someone i love while witnessing something awful, and what makes it harder is that i'm telling myself " i don't want to think about my loved ones while seeing this, i don't want it to be the last thing i think about while seeing this particular image". So i'm avoiding and doing checking a lot to make sure i think about something else while witnessing these image or situations. This ocd keeps me from doing a lot normal things like watching the news, to the point where it's making me cry.

  • Wes Crawford May 12, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    Thank you very much!!!!

  • Parmajit Kaur May 12, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    Great video xxx

  • The Real Mansa Musa May 12, 2018 at 7:43 pm


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