Crisis communication is a sub-specialty of the public relations profession that is designed to protect and defend an individual, company, or organization facing a public challenge to its reputation (source: Wikipedia)
The most important thing to consider in crisis communication is to be prepared.
Have a crisis communication plan before a crisis occurs.
In your crisis communications plan identify the following:
• possible scenarios, from bad to catastrophic
• emergency contacts within your organisation
• direct responsibilities and line management within your PR and C-level team
• what channels to use for any type of communications. Twitter is definitively different from a company blog, your media centre or your Facebook page.
• in your plan make a distinction between crisis and issue. Whilst crisis has long term effect on reputation, an issue is transient
• include an internal communication approach in your plan. Your team will need to be informed right away when a crisis occurs.
When a crisis occurs...
• it is easy to get reactive, so look at the long term and be proactive
• leverage all the positives that you can use to address the crisis