Why does a company in crisis need outside help?
When something bad happens in our lives, we do not hesitate to seek advice from a friend, a doctor or a lawyer. And when a crisis hits our business, we often think of ourselves as experts in its affairs and delay asking for help. It is then easy to procrastinate or make emotional decisions that only make the problem worse. Stress and panic make us even more vulnerable.
The role of an external agency is to analyse the situation quickly and dispassionately, to sense the right moment and to suggest appropriate action. It also helps the client to take control and understand what is happening. It's a simple relationship: if you don't get yourself under control, you certainly won't get the crisis under control – it will get you under control. Then there is no point in being an advocate for yourself.
It is up to the PR professional's instinct and experience to identify the crisis potential of an incident quickly and accurately enough. The fact that an incident develops into a crisis situation (and then into a permanent crisis) is also due to external circumstances beyond our control. How we manage the situation, however, has a major impact on the direction of the situation and the achievement of the desired outcome.
Bringing in competent external advisers is a key strategic decision. Our clients tend to realise the fact more and more often, and confidently recommend us to other companies facing communications challenges. As a consultancy, GDS specialises not only in ‘face-saving’ but also in 'treatment' of the symptoms and causes of a crisis.
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