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An emergency situation

Quickly initiating crisis communication

If your company is heading toward a communication crisis or is currently in the middle of one, then stop reading now and call us directly on +49 (0) 911/97478-0. Because the quicker you act, the quicker we can deal with your emergency.

If you are not currently in the midst of a crisis, then you can keep reading with peace of mind and learn how KONTEXT as an agency can advise and support you in a crisis.


Contact the crisis experts

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A crisis communication agency is insurance for your marketing budget

Any company can hit a crisis. It doesn’t take a virus, or illegal business practices, or widespread spying on employees by management. Even misconduct by just one single employee can be enough to put the company’s reputation on the line. Or if an IT outage shuts down work processes, an economic downturn makes lay-offs necessary or a supplier with crooked methods threatens the quality of the value-added chain... Then you will need rapid crisis communication!

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What constitutes a communication crisis?

Some things that characterize all crises: They’re unplanned, unwanted, complex, volatile and generally subject to a great deal of public interest. A company’s image and credibility can be damaged very quickly – in the worst case scenario, partners and customers completely lose trust, putting the very existence of the company at stake.

Know who to turn to in the event of a communication emergency

As a crisis communication agency, we have often helped our customers through difficult PR periods by providing them with a strategy. When a crisis is in full swing, professional support is particularly needed to give communication a direction, to ensure nobody loses sight of the goal and to provide everyone involved with a strategy in real-time.

Here for you 24/7 during a crisis

Preparation would be nice, but it’s possible without it, too: Of course, if it was up to us we would prepare our customers for an emergency with a business game in calmer times, test it out and define all of the necessary steps. However, because communication crises often descend suddenly on a company, we specialize in getting an overview of the situation in a very short space of time, working day and night to get to grips with your issues and advising and briefing your team in a way that gets you through the crisis optimally.

Without it, nothing works: the crisis communication plan

This plan is essentially the script for a movie with an ending that you, the author, do not know. If you’ve done the preparation and internalized the components of the plan in advance, you can establish a clear, structured crisis communication strategy. If a company hasn’t invested in crisis prevention, a communication plan must be developed as quickly as possible after the fact. This plan includes, for example, logging the factual situation, defining core messages and developing scenarios including crisis management measures. The crisis communication plan also serves to document any action taken – which could well be relevant if it later comes to are legal or insurance-related settlements.

In addition, the communication plan defines other important steps, which are also explained below:

  • Stakeholder analysis

  • Communication strategy

  • Communication channels

Stakeholder analysis for effective communication

Who are we communicating for? This question should be answered at the very beginning of our cooperation in any crisis. Because a stakeholder analysis defines which communication channels need to be used simultaneously, which questions need to be answered, and which wording should be used. It’s important not to leave out any groups. Internal communication is just as important as external communication. Because the trust of employees in their employer’s strategy is just as important as that of customers. Therefore, crisis management starts within the company. In parallel, public relations work is carried out online and offline.

Potential stakeholders in crisis communication:

  • Employees

  • Customers

  • Partners

  • Online audiences

  • Owners, Shareholders

  • The media

Offensive, passive or even defensive – the right crisis communication at the right time

Companies that drag their CEO in front of the cameras at the very beginning of a crisis before the facts are clear either have nothing to lose or have no idea what they’re doing. It’s very rarely emptying your communication weapon right at the beginning. A crisis often follows a dramatic narrative that more or less builds up quickly, reaches its peak, and then subsides again. The aim is to understand this dramatic narrative, ideally even to steer it, but most importantly not to let yourself be swept along by it.

It takes a certain intuition to get the timing right and put out the right statement at the right moment. Thanks to our many years of experience with the media, people and communication crises, we ensure we can provide you with the right recommendations for action that will enable you to predict the dramatic narrative of the crisis and make it work for you.

We´ll advise you, we promise!

Choosing the right channels and applying a strategy

Keeping calm in a crisis is an art. This includes keeping a clear head in stressful situations and giving yourself the necessary time to make the important decisions. For this reason, crisis management includes selecting the right communication channels.

Combined with the risk analysis and stakeholder analysis, and paired with the type of communication (active, passive, defensive), the selection of communication channels is one of the most important steps on the way to managing any communication crisis. Will an internal letter to employees be enough? Is PR necessary? Should we release a press release or post something on Facebook? Will a video statement help to ease the situation? Or is a press conference the only way to calm the waters? Escalation levels must be observed here as well. Hastily skipping stages can mean that you unnecessarily fuel the dramatic narrative and, by doing so, stoke the crisis.

Therefore, we advise you on each of the steps defined above and accompany you every step of the way.

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Get in touch:

Klaus Schardt
+49 (0) 911 974780


Phone: 0911 974780