Best Best Talent Platform is a hub of experts and a network of peer support.
Each month, BBTP hosts online meetings where our expert members can connect. The purpose of the monthly member meetings is to showcase our talent, activate peer mentorship, and build community among c-level freelancers.
In March, the topic of our member meeting was crisis communications and featured our expert member, Mikko Sillanpää.
Mikko has 25 years of experience in marketing and communications.
He has helped organizations from different industries and in various crisis communications situations — from preparing and training organization-wide crisis communication plans to acute crises management in online and offline media environments.
The BBTP member community was fortunate to hear a presentation from Mikko on Tuesday, March 21st. BBTP members got an introduction to crises management from the perspective of a high-level leader.
Every organization will eventually face crises - how to manage it in communications?
Mikko shared a thoughtful overview on how company leaders can manage crises through communications — emphasizing that crises management is a skill (not innate or intuitive) and requires consistent maintenance.
What feels natural for an individual to do can go against what is best for a company in crisis. To help us combat our innate “fight or flight” responses. When companies have pre-meditated plans and tools to follow, it is easier to keep calm and get through a crisis. Furthermore, preparing the crises communications plan should be on the agenda of the company owners and board of directors, because, ultimately, the effort is about protecting the reputation and value of the company.
Throughout his presentation, Mikko gave tools that can be adapted and applied to any company and any crisis. One tool is the “anatomy of crises”, consisting of phases that leaders should go through and where their focus should lie within each phase.
Mikko also presented action points that are specific to c-level leaders. The action points include 3 general attitudes to maintain, along with more detailed and concrete measures.
When faced with crises of any kind — whether a factory fire or bad behavior from a CEO — information spreads quickly. Understanding how crises spread can help leaders create comprehensive plans for crises management
During a crisis, the spread of information extends to many outlets, channels, and audiences. The latter part of Mikko’s presentation focused on the relationship with the press and with the ever-evolving arena of social media. BBTP members walked away from the meeting with tips and tricks for working with traditional media outlets and different areas of social media.
A few key takeaways from Mikko’s presentation:
Companies must be proactive with crisis management — consider crises communications before any disaster hits
When preparing crisis communication plans, explore a diversity of crisis types — never underestimate your company or employees’ susceptibility to a crisis
When a crisis occurs, be as transparent as possible — the truth will always come to the surface
Understand the role and goals of the media — try to maintain good relations with the press and work with them whenever possible
Anyone can start a crisis on social media — take social media seriously and avoid unnecessary provocations
A strong reputation can take hits — reputation building should be an active and ongoing effort from all reaches of the company
BTP members were fortunate to learn from Mikko at our March meeting. Mikko gave our members a brief but impactful introduction to crisis management and inspired a fruitful discussion. Those members who are interested in digging deeper can contact Mikko directly for additional training opportunities.
Is your company in need of training on crisis communication? Or are you a c-level freelancer needing to boost your crisis management skills?
050 – 331 - 5279
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