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Crisis Management – On The Farm (Part 2)

CrisesWhen the unthinkable happens and a crisis occurs, the first reaction is panic. In the first part of our crisis post, we discussed how to prepare for a crisis. Today, we will discuss what to do during and after the event.

In the event that one occurs, take a deep breath before responding. There are three main steps to help you get through a crisis.

  1. Talk first to inside audiences, such as family and employees, to review the procedures for a crisis. Make sure these people know what their responsibilities are during the crisis.
  2. Talk to the media soon after the incident. Be humble, honest and forthright. Providing false information may have unintended negative effects.
  3. Lastly, monitor the crisis through media outlets and respond appropriately.

After a crisis, it is tempting to just move on. However, it is important to follow up immediately after the crisis.  Begin by conducting an assessment to determine if there were steps you could have taken to prevent or better handle the situation. Update your crisis plan accordingly with your lessons learned. Remember, after a crisis occurs don’t hide behind your company; be active in your community and industry to rebuild your credibility.

Helpful Hints

  1. Regularly update your crisis plan. Even if you have been fortunate enough not to have a crisis, being prepared is key.
  2. Ask for help! Don’t be afraid to seek legal advice or help from other farmers, commodity or advocacy groups.
  3. Act in a timely manner, but take the time to ensure accurate information is being released.
  4. Be human. Although you want to be strong with the media, take time to show compassion for those affected by the crisis.

Have you experienced a crisis? What advice do you have for others experiencing one? We would love to hear from you!  Please share your comments.

Additional Resources:

http://foodsafety.ksu.edu/articles/313/crisis_communication_planning_manual.pdf

http://www.justfarmers.biz/blog/2012/06/13/crisis-avoid-prepare-manage/

This post was written by Katie Hozan, an intern working in our Claims Department this summer. Katie is a senior majoring in communications and public relations at Ohio Northern University.

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