Surviving during a crisis: Balancing public need with company risk

Pierpont’s executive counsel and crisis communications expert, Terry Hemeyer, discusses how companies can manage a crisis situation in a way that is sensitive to the needs of the public while staying true to the company’s best interests.

In this Texas Enterprise contributed article, Terry examines public need versus company risk in times of crisis and how to best achieve this complex balance. He provides strategies that any company can adhere to when managing a crisis situation.

Snapshot from the article: It’s a tricky balance to strike. On the one hand, providing transparent, timely information to the public during a crisis can be in a company’s best interest. There are manifold consequences for clamming up, which can quickly snowball out of hand (think Congressional hearings/future litigation). The bottom line is that being forthcoming means that you are in control of the message and that you are shaping your own image.

On the other hand, transparency has its dangers. Once something is said, it cannot be taken back, so all statements must be meticulously based upon facts. Saying the wrong thing can cause more harm than speaking at all. Add to this that companies are often wary of transparency because of the potential for proprietary information to be leaked. Competitors lurk like wolves to capitalize on a company’s duress. 

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Image Credit: Texas Enterprise

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