Food-borne illness. Product recalls. Boycotts, strikes and layoffs. Alleged discrimination. Armed robbery. Death on premise. These are just some of the critical issues our crisis management team has expertly handled on behalf of our clients in the hospitality sector.
Restaurants and hotels are faced with adversity at some point—from a minor incident that goes viral and spreads like wild fire over social media to a major event that makes headlines and is splashed across radio, television and the internet. At the rate of speed that news spreads, having a crisis communications plan is a necessity.
The greater the preparation in advance, the quicker and more effectively disruptions can be managed sparing loss of business, loss of reputation and damaged brand equity.
Marx Layne has a comprehensive program to help clients proactively anticipate and prepare for crisis situations. This involves identifying the communications chain of command, message development, spokesperson identification and media training, identification of municipal leaders, social media and traditional media strategies.
Marx Layne helps clients proactively prepare for crisis situations. Our team of highly experienced professionals is available around-the-clock to manage communications for targeted audiences and provide emergency guidance during a crisis. And equally important, we have the insight and expertise to craft a plan to fortify stakeholder relations and your brand after your organization faces a crisis.
Marx Layne professionals have years of experience with issue management and crisis communication. In fact, we are frequently retained by leading law firms to help guide their clients through the media frenzy that often erupts during an organization’s most trying times.
The Marx Layne crisis management team includes seasoned experts with wide-ranging experience working with the news media, web and social media, legal advisors, municipal leaders and other key influencers when managing a crisis. Our professionals have a keen understanding of how the media works and know best how to engage with all stakeholders during and after a crisis. From the media to social media outlets, customers and suppliers, to employees, civic and community groups, elected officials and others, we are well-versed in mitigating risk while helping manage the message and control the narrative.
Crisis Management Preparation
Our team of crisis management experts can prepare your organization by developing a comprehensive crisis communications plan for company leadership detailing potential scenarios and recommended outcomes; message development; facilitating media training; and serving as spokesperson when your brand is under scrutiny.
Our crisis communications plan deliverables include:
- Risk assessment
- Communication strategy and development of a crisis plan specific to your organization
- Crisis response flowcharts and reference manuals
- Scenario and response planning
- Crisis management preparation and simulation
- Media training
Responding to A Crisis
Our crisis response team is available 24/7/365, offering expertise, critical thinking and strategic support for managing all aspects of a crisis. Marx Layne crisis team members are experienced in working with legal advisors, police departments, municipalities and hazmat teams, while keeping company executives apprised at all times of the crisis situation as it unfolds.
We also train company spokespersons in the development of key speaking points and delivery of messaging. Using the latest media technology, we respond rapidly, whether the crisis occurs in Detroit or in any other major metropolitan area throughout the nation.
Like a community with an outstanding emergency response system, a company with an established crisis management plan always fares better during a crisis. That is why it is critical to have a complete communications plan in place before, during, and after a potential crisis.
Marx Layne offers a broad range of services by our highly skilled crisis management professionals including:
- Message development tailored for customers, vendors, media and the public (statements, press releases, op-eds, articles and more)
- Media relations
- Website and social media management, including content development, active listening and monitoring and managing dialogues
- Stakeholder development and community relations
- Crisis response “War Room”
- Online reputation management
A well-round crisis communications plan extends beyond the crisis itself. Your brand’s reputation is at stake as well as relationships with employees, business and community leaders, supporters and the general public.
After a crisis is a crucial time to assess potential negative outcomes impacting brand perception, and focus on community relations activities, fortifying communications with your stakeholders and generating positive news about your organization.
Marx Layne will work with your organization to shepherd you through the process of restoring your brand so you can get back to business. Our post-crisis services include:
- Post-crisis impact analysis
- Stakeholder engagement
- Community relations
- Reputation recovery and fortification
What You Should Do
Here are a few steps to help you prepare for a crisis situation.
- Assess your organization’s vulnerabilities. Determine where you are most open to attacks against your brand. This could be negative customer reviews on social media, foodborne illness or labor disputes, to name a few.
- Assemble a crisis response team. Identify key leaders in your organization. They should be decision makers who understand your mission, the competitive landscape and know who your stakeholders are. Compile a contact list and maintain it electronically and offline so you can get in touch regardless of internet access or if team members are traveling.
- Map out your response. Craft messaging on what you would say in each situation. Be truthful. Don’t elaborate beyond what is necessary to address the situation. Your crisis response team and legal counsel should align on verbiage to limit liability.
- Put your crisis response plan into action. Everyone on your crisis response team should have a clearly defined role, from crafting messaging and communicating with stakeholders to responding to news media and monitoring social media. As you face a crisis, it is critical to monitor what is being said about your brand so you can respond—and course correct messaging if needed.
- Restoring your brand. After a crisis, it is paramount to quickly engage stakeholders and implement community relations tactics, creating positive news about your brand.
Need help with developing a crisis communications plan? Contact our team at Marx Layne—we are ready, responsive and here to help you navigate your business through a crisis.