No matter how much you plan, there will always be obstacles at an event. While you can’t predict every roadblock, establishing a plan for damage control will facilitate a swift and smooth recovery. Here are the most common mistakes when diffusing a situation and how you can improve them.
1. Delaying a Response
Fix: Get vocal, fast. Too often, planners want to craft a brilliant response, but this costs too much time. People will already be looking at social media and their emails. Activate your lightning-fast powers by preparing email and social media message templates in advance.
2. Releasing Mixed Messages
Fix: Keep everyone on the same page. Making conflicting statements detracts from your credibility and causes additional confusion. Anoint one person to handle all media and public statements, or debrief the group before they go out spreading the message. Make the chosen tactic clear to the team beforehand.
3. Sweeping Things Under the Rug
Fix: Exercise professional honesty. Ignoring something doesn’t make it disappear, and trying to hide it makes you seem untrustworthy. Even if it’s uncomfortable, be transparent. Attendees don’t need to know every detail, but be honest with them.
4. Playing the Blame Game
Fix: Own it. Focusing on whodunit in the messaging can be detrimental. Attendees will see any excuses as finger-pointing and lose respect for leadership. Plus, it’s unprofessional. You’re the boss so take responsibility for any slip ups. Then you can talk about lessons learned and steps being put in place to react and keep the problem from happening in the future.
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