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Are you prepared for a crisis to hit your organization? This is question is less about if a crisis will hit and more about when a crisis will emerge. Whether the result of a natural disaster (i.e., hurricane), human error (Comcast’s now infamous “customer service” call), or something more nefarious (i.e., data security breach), every organization and company will face crises. You may have the necessary insurance and some operational contingencies, but too often the communications side of a crisis is ignored. The organizations that don’t address crisis communications do so at their own peril. As countless examples demonstrate, how a company responds to a crisis could have a more significant impact on its bottom line than the crisis itself.

For the past year or so, when we log on to Facebook, Twitter, or another social media profile, we’re seeing more and more sponsored posts and ads. Embedded in our news feeds or populated as display ads, we can’t seem to escape social media ads. And there’s a few reasons for it. They are very effective and make social media platforms a lot of money. In fact, some social media platforms, like Facebook, are becoming increasingly “pay-for-play.” Facebook has diminished the organic reach of business pages, putting more pressure on companies to sponsor or boost content in order to be seen by more users.

Any organization, no matter its sector, often focuses most of its communications attention on external audiences. It’s not surprising, since many key constituencies, whether client or otherwise, tend to be outside of the organization. However, far too often companies see communications efforts as zero sum. With such an outward focus, it’s easy to lose site of internal audiences. Internal communications — which can really be considered internal marketing and PR campaigns — are critical for the success of all organizations.