What are the best crisis management techniques

“Every crisis is different” or what the 2015 Communication Congress teaches us

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24.09.2015

September 24, 2015 - As every year, crisis communication was “the topic” at the communication congress last week in Berlin. Looking back, the crisis communication on the rail strike, the Germanwings crash, the ADAC crisis or the accusation that Daimler was spying on its employees was presented openly and self-critically and expertly assessed. All crisis experts agreed that every crisis follows a different logic and dynamic and therefore standardized preparations in the form of crisis manuals only provide limited support as soon as the waves of media attack roll. Last Friday, however, nobody had the biggest crisis in the German economy on their radar: the manipulation at VW. Volkswagen will survive and perhaps present this crisis as a case at the 2016 Communication Congress. The first decisions / actions / transparency are then assessed: the assumption of responsibility, the CEO's message of humility, the cooperation with authorities and the clear will to provide complete clarification. With the help of these tried and tested crisis management techniques, VW will at least succeed in limiting the amount of reputational damage and laying the foundation for a new start. So: crises cannot be planned. The company's reactions do. And one more lesson from the communications congress: the great crisis in the German automotive industry was not triggered by the Google car, Chinese espionage software or American algorithms. No, with the still young term Industry 4.0, of all things, German industry is now being associated with the perpetrator. Much to do for crisis communicators.


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