If your organisation is in the midst of an emergency or critical situation, you may well need to write a crisis statement to deliver to the press.
Here is our 10 point guide to writing a crisis statement:
- Be concise – no more than 2-3 (shortish) sentences. If it is too long, the journalist will simply edit it and may cut out a crucial point.
- Be robust and clear – there should be no ambiguity in what you say.
- Avoid mentioning organisation by name – say we instead.
- Keep the tone positive and avoid confrontation either with others who are involved, or with the press.
- Be honest – if you’re at fault, admit it. This gains respect. Use words like take/share responsibility, transparency, openness. Fudging the truth could cause problems later down the line.
- If not your fault, don’t overtly blame others.
- If you’re not solely at fault, use expressions such as ‘working together’, ‘joint responsibility’, ‘as one of a number of organisations’ to remind the audience of that.
- Present any negatives in wider context – words like rare and isolated are helpful, and stress any positives.
- Stress that you are taking action to resolve the issue, co-operating with the authorities and will learn from mistakes. Expressions like ‘taking immediate action’, ‘taking appropriate measures’, ‘working closely with’ are useful here.
- Show empathy – ‘we understand’, ‘we appreciate’, ‘we know’, ‘we recognise’.
If you need help with writing a crisis statement, or with your crisis communications in general, we have a range of services available, including providing strategic support, and training courses. Contact us to find out more.