Crisis experts offer these guidelines for dealing with the media:

  • Write a concise statement about the crisis, and detail the steps you're taking to remedy the situation.
  • Don't stray too far from your statement when talking to reporters.
  • Keep accurate logs of media inquiries and news coverage.
  • Be clear and avoid jargon.
  • Be concise. Speak in short, eight- to 10-second snippets.
  • Stay in control. Don't let the interviewer dictate the discussion.
  • Be confident. People remember more about how you said it than what you said.
  • Be honest. If you don't know an answer, admit it.
  • Monitor and evaluate. Determine how the crisis has affected your sales as well as customers' behavior and opinions.

In his book, crisis management expert Jeffrey R. Caponigro suggests some effective ways to assess the impact of a crisis, including:

  • Measuring and tracking sales and profits during and after a crisis.
  • Using a news media monitoring service to provide you with copies of media coverage of your crisis.
  • Establishing a telephone hot line for customers to call with questions and comments about the crisis.
  • Conducting focus group sessions to get opinions from your target customers.