Key Tactic in a Crisis: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Last Updated Oct 14, 2008 5:32 PM EDT

Luckily for most of us, the global financial crisis is affecting us indirectly. Sure, home values may be down and our 401(k)s may now only be "201(k)s," but those are paper losses. Thus far, the rest of the economy hasn't really caught Wall Street's flu.

Nevertheless, it's an edgy time, a near-crisis that any date could spill over into the broader economy. So at this time, what should business leaders do: a) hunker down and adopt a siege mentality or b) communicate with key constituencies, including employees, investors and customers?

Duh -- the answer of course is b).

But are America's overpaid CEOs following this advice? What do you think? Check out this blog entry from ReputationXchange.com about the survey they released today:

We surveyed employed Americans about the financial upheaval and asked them how satisfied they are with their leadership's communications.

In short, we learned that working Americans are not hearing enough from senior leaders about the global financial crisis.

In fact, a huge 70% expect the current economic problems in the U.S. is going to have a negative impact on the company they work for over the next year. Of those, 26% believe their company will have lay offs and 62% said their company will have trouble meeting goals.

These survey findings highlight a genuine leadership deficit! A hefty 71% of people felt that their company's leadership should be communicating more about current economic problems, and 54% have not heard from company leaders at all on the impact of the financial crisis on their company.

This is pathetic -- really. Luckily, there's still time for leaders to do something. Assemble your comms team, figure out what to say and then say it! Call an all-hands meeting, post it on your blog, do a voicemail blast -- whatever floats your boat. But speak up!
  • Jon Greer

    Jon Greer has been analyzing media and PR for more than 25 years. He's been a journalist and a PR executive, and has been a featured speaker for many years at the Bulldog Reporter Media Relations Summit, and served as Bulldog's Editorial Director for their PR University series of weekly how-to audio conferences.

    Jon provides PR services including media relations and freelance writing to clients including start-ups, law firms, corporations, investment banks and venture capital firms. In addition, Jon provides spokesperson training. Learn more about Jon's training programs at The Media Bridge.