The crisis communications golden hour is all about the emphasis for companies in crisis to take bold, decisive steps in the first hour, in order to manage both the crisis and the public’s perception of the crisis.
But the crisis communications golden hour really needs to be reduced to the crisis communications golden minutes.
Have you heard about SituationHub.com? It is a new crisis communications software application that allows a company to quickly gather information about a crisis and generate a news release or crisis statement in 3 to 5 minutes.
SituationHub is a game-changer because it is the first time crisis communications can move at the speed of social media.
The flaw with the crisis communications golden hour concept is that Twitter and Facebook Live happen during the first minute of a crisis. SituationHub closes the gap because it automates the crisis communications process, and it automates the writing of a news release or crisis statement.
SituationHub has forced me to re-write my crisis communications plan template. For more than 25 years my crisis communications plans have evolved, but when one of my clients uses SituationHub, the first five chapters of my crisis communications plan becomes five sentences:
- Log into SituationHub.com
- Select your situation
- Answer the questions
- Alert your internal crisis team
- Publish your statement for the media, employees, customers, and stakeholders
The One Hour Rule
Historically, we know that the longer it takes a company to issue a statement about a situation or crisis, the more damage that company is likely to experience to its revenue, reputation, and brand.
Historically, my crisis communications plans dictated that the user must issue a statement to the media, employees, and all stakeholders within one hour or less of the onset of the crisis going public.
That’s worked for me, but in the back of my mind I’ve been thinking, “That’s still 59 minutes after the first Tweet or Facebook post.”
The Three Hour Reality
I’ve studied crisis situations in my days as a television reporter and my second career in crisis communications. In most cases, more than three hours pass between the flashpoint of the situation and the release of the first statement. That is unacceptable!
Why is this?
- Most companies fail to write a proper crisis communications plan on a clear sunny day.
- Most companies fail to have a library of pre-written news releases for their crisis events. Hence, valuable time is lost writing a first draft statement, then having that statement marked up and edited by executives, then waiting for the second draft, then waiting for more edits, then releasing a final draft.
Hopefully, more organizations will discover SituationHub and turn the crisis communications golden hour into the crisis communications golden minutes.