I am reminded almost daily that we live in a world gone amok. Crisis Communication is rarely planned for but often needed. To move the conversation and focus forward during a crisis, the group must specifically show regret, resolve to fix the situation, implement reforms and offer some form of restitution. No defensiveness, no claims of ignorance.
1.) REGRET: Board members, management or staff do not need to apologize, but the Organization as a whole must REGRET what has happened, (individuals do not have to feel guilty or even responsible). Sample: The Board regrets that the financial situation has deteriorated to this point.
2.) RESOLVE: It must be made clear that the Organization is working to RESOLVE the issue. Sample: The Board has resolved both publicly and privately to work toward solutions to ensure the financial health of the Organization.
3.) REFORM: Without the promise of change, customers, clients, members, investors have nothing to cling to. Sample: The Organization is in the process of evaluating reforms to the current [insert issue here] and will be making reforms to this process by the end of the quarter.
4.) RESTITUTION: Publicly giving back or compensating in some way is something the Organization may want to consider. Sample: The Organization is examining the possibility of requiring reimbursements for items that were entered as expenses, but were found to be personal use.