Add to your "What if?" PR planning: workplace violence. Sure, it's not likely to happen, but if it does, you wouldn't want to leave it to the security guys to handle the media and resulting community relations, would you? Some might do okay, others might not. That's not a chance you, or a client, should want to take. A risk and insurance panel discussed the subject last week in Philadelphia.
Both the short and long-term aspects of an incident of business violence need to be handled well. Communication planning is critical. "Risk managers that have had success in minimizing the short- and long-term damage of a violent event," says a Business Insurance post on the Philadelphia meeting, "have done so largely by ensuring clear and consistent communication of their company's response plans and tactics with employees, senior management and especially local law enforcement agencies."
Add violence response to your repetoire, hoping all the while that you'll never have to respond to such an incident. Should an event occur, risk managers should have on hand "a robust series of protocols for answering questions from the media and the community at large during and immediately after an incident if they hope to have any control over the public's perception of the company's handling of the event."
(The Business Insurance site requires registration for continuing access.)
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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