Evan Nierman: Crisis Management Fundamentals
Evan Nierman is a crisis management expert who serves as the Founder and CEO of Red Banyan, a globally renowned public relations firm recognized for its ability to deliver the right messages at the right time to those who matter most. With more than 20 years of experience, Nierman’s crisis management agency is rooted in the company philosophy “Press the Truth.” Nierman has guided international, celebrity, and corporate clients through complex high-stakes situations and has become a valued resource whose expertise is regularly tapped by the media. He is also the bestselling author of CRISIS AVERTED: PR Strategies to Protect Your Reputation and the Bottom Line.
In this episode, Dean Newlund and Evan Nierman discuss:
- Defending your reputation from today’s most common crisis
- Averting a crisis from true accusations
- Incongruence between public and personal identity
- Crisis management for non-profit organizations
- The advent of the internet has allowed the battle for an individual or company’s reputation to be more brutal and urgent, with multiplicative damage that borders permanence.
- Never lose the opportunity to correct your company’s internal narrative. Explain the truth to your members so that you can avoid confusion, discomfort, and fear that might make matters even worse. Internal unity is a huge advantage when it comes to making it through crises.
- Don’t cover up the truth – it will make you look worse when it comes up if you lie about it or if you don’t address it directly. Understand the facts, map out the target audience, and understand the implicated person’s or people’s intent – once you’ve identified all this, plan out activities and make your move. For the best results, bring in an outsider’s opinion.
- Walk your talk – live your brand identity. But even the best fall down, and so no matter how new or unique your brand is, you need to invest in a crisis management team. It can even be argued that the more unique your brand is, the more critical it is for your company to keep it that way.
- Don’t let the public form misconceptions – educate the public, press the truth, push a narrative clearly and assertively. That’s how you change perceptions and attitudes. You can’t just keep wishing or hoping that the public will come up with the truth themselves. Educate and inform the public to alleviate crises when it happens.
“In cases where you have made a mistake… guess what, there’s no individual… no organization in existence today that hasn’t made mistakes… I think the general public understands that, but if you own it and you’re transparent about it, and you’re accountable, pledge to do better, and follow through with actions… you can regain trust. The public will forgive you and understand.” — Evan Nierman
See Dean’s TedTalk “Why Business Needs Intuition” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEq9IYvgV7I
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