For this reason, running into a disaster is more common, and so you need to be prepared for the worst at all times

However, it takes a certain team of experts to be able to stay calm under pressure and swoop in to rectify a corporate calamity effectively. 

Here, media update's Taylor Goodman unpacks five personalities that you need to have on your crisis management team.

Let’s get into it: 

1. The spokesperson

From Mickey Mouse to Luke Skywalker, every story has a main character, and this is no different when it comes to building your crisis management team.

In this context, your main character is your spokesperson. This is an individual that communicates on behalf of your brand, with the public, the media and your stakeholders. 

Depending on the severity of your crisis, your team’s spokesperson could be your business’ COO, CEO (if things are really bad) or it could be specific to the situation. 

For example, if your brand makes a marketing faux pas, your head of marketing should be the one addressing the public. 

Given the uncertainty of the situation, it would be best to select a few individuals that could represent your brand in different scenarios. 

All prospects should have great communication skills and confidence to represent your brand effectively. A charming personality wouldn't hurt either. 

Finding the right spokesperson can make or break your reputation recovery. The right fit will convey brand messaging with empathy, tact and sincerity

2. The master communicator

We all know someone who can talk their way out of any sticky situation. PR and marketing professionals, we’re talking to you

In a crisis management team, these departments should join forces to form the role of master communicators. 

They will be the ones responsible for monitoring the brand’s communication to the public, so they are the first to know if a problem arises and planning potential crisis response templates.  

In the event of a crisis, they will be running around, writing statements / press releases, liaising with the media and taking calls with stakeholders. 

Essentially, they make sure all operations run smoothly and they work to bring the business back to normal. 

Your communication team should be headed up by a strong team leader who oversees your crisis planning, your brand’s responses and communications. They will have the final say on all operations.  

2. The legal and finance buff

You know that friend that you always go to for advice? Well, in a crisis, that is your legal representative. 

This role speaks for itself because no brand wants to find itself in hot water with the law. To avoid any ramifications during a crisis, you must have a legal representative as a part of your squad. 

This individual plays one of the most important roles in a crisis scenario because it is the in-house council’s responsibility to minimise risk

They do this by evading liability and safeguarding your brand and providing legal guidance to your team on how to cautiously move forward. 

Additionally, a financial consultant may also fall under the legal bracket. This is a key member of your team as they can assist with all financial matters relating to your crisis. 

Possible roles they may take on are:
  • keeping an eye on the cost of your crisis response
  • distributing emergency funds
  • determining any financial compensation 
  • coordinating insurance claims, and
  • assessing financial risk.

4. The support structure

The sport structure of your crisis management team includes an admin aid, a human resource representative and an operations liaison. Think of these individuals as the airbag there to soften the blow. 

Your admin support will do everything they can to ensure things run smoothly, and leave no stone unturned in the process of brand image restoration. 

Possible responsibilities that fall under this role are compiling documents, taking notes, organising food / transportation and giving general insight into your brand’s operations. 

Next, your HR representative will assist with all employee relations linked to the crisis. This is best put by MHA consulting which states that their role is the “development and implementation of services designed to support affected employees during and after the event.” 

This entails tasks like recruiting temporary staff, scheduling grief counselling or issuing employee benefits.

Lastly, the operation liaison’s role is to link your team back to the organisation by giving insight into how your crisis is affecting business operations. 

As this individual’s role is closely linked to the company’s daily affairs, they can provide valuable insight into how your dilemma is affecting people on the ground — like your in-store employees, for example. 

Possible responsibilities in this role can be to give guidance as to when your business should stop operating due to an emergency or to coordinate teams of employees to assist with recovery. 

5. The IT wizard

We all have someone that we run to when we experience even the slightest of technological hiccups. In a crisis management scenario, this would be your IT expert. 

You need your business's IT team to join your team in the event of cybersecurity attacks, security infringements or unauthorised access breaches.  

For example, if your brand experiences a data breach, your IT crisis response team will work on eliminating this threat, protecting your information systems and restoring your networks. 

Living in such a digitised society, it is crucial that you have an IT representative to protect your brand from any malicious attacks. 

Who would you have on your crisis management team? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

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If you want to learn more about crisis management, then be sure to read Crisis management: Three steps towards recovery after a PR mishap.
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy