Crisis communication

Communications crises are a little like bushfires – they can emerge quickly, sometimes seemingly from nowhere or as a result of a random or malicious act. They demand clear thinking and rapid and informed decision making and responses.

Even the best run organisations can be vulnerable to a communications crisis. Human error, criminal or irresponsible behaviour, equipment or systems failure. These things happen. And when they do the damage for you and your organisation can be dire. Adverse media coverage, a social media firestorm, regulator intervention, official enquiries, loss of share price and investor confidence – these can cost you your reputation or your business.

For the majority of organisations, a communications crisis is a once in a lifetime experience. But for the team at Grounded Communications, steering organisations through these situations is a routine part of our work. This means we work with you to rapidly deploy proven approaches that will mitigate the reputational risk, contain the damage and, importantly, allow you and your team to get on with the job while we take care of media and communications issues. Our team specialises in the transport and infrastructure and health, aged care and human services. We have handled all manner of communications crises, including:

  • Critical transport incidents involving multiple fatalities
  • Major employee misconduct, including financial mismanagement and claims of client abuse.

Services we offer include:

  • 24/7 crisis communications response
  • Crisis communications strategy, developed in consultation with your legal and operational teams
  • Media management, including spokesperson services where needed
  • Post crisis review and preparedness reviews, policy development and training.

The Grounded Communications team can be by your side immediately and for the duration of the incident, helping you to make the right communications decisions.

Issues management

Communications issues can arise from routine or planned activities – closing or selling a site, re-negotiating an industrial agreement or changing leadership.  Or they can arise unexpectedly – an aggrieved client takes to social media, a compliance issue emerges or a leak causes media speculation.

In both cases, pre-planning can help organisations to respond quickly and professionally, ensuring that the right stakeholders hear a clear and consistent message at the right time.

For known issues, such as planned business changes, an issues management strategy will ensure an orderly flow of information to major stakeholders. They can have confidence when they hear the news first from you, not by reading it in the media or hearing industry gossip.

For an emerging issue, protocols that set out how issues are identified, tracked and responded to mean organisations are well placed to avert or minimise events that could otherwise severely damage public, employee, partner and investor perceptions.