The importance of stakeholder relationships in Crisis Management

The importance of stakeholder relationships in Crisis Management

We all know stakeholders are fundamental to every organisation, but here at WordStorm PR, we understand that strong stakeholder relationships are absolutely vital for crisis management, and here’s why:

Stakeholder perception

Many organisations are not fully aware of how valuable stakeholder perception is for their reputation, particularly at the time of a crisis. When an organisation’s behaviour aligns with the expectations and values of their stakeholders, they are granted legitimacy by stakeholders. This notion of legitimacy and stakeholder perception is so strong that regardless of whether an incident did or did not occur, if the stakeholders believe it, then there is a crisis event. Effective crisis communication lies in the company’s ability to manage its communication with external and internal stakeholders.

External stakeholder relationships

As PR practitioners, we know better than anyone that our industry thrives off good relationships, and we understand that nurturing these relationships early on is imperative for crisis management. A positive relationship history with stakeholders can help protect an organisation from reputational damage during a crisis. In order to foster strong foundations with external stakeholders, organisations need to focus on developing and maintaining two-way symmetrical communication.

Internal stakeholder relationships

During a crisis, many organisations tend to neglect a key stakeholder group; their employees. Employees are perhaps an organisation’s most important stakeholder group during a crisis, as they are representatives of the organisation and the frontline to the world. Poor internal communication can often undermine a company’s efforts to effectively manage a crisis externally, so it is imperative for organisations to look inwards and develop robust internal relationships. Successful internal stakeholder relationships before a crisis means employees will naturally assist the company in conveying key organisational messages to external stakeholders and the public if a crisis occurs.

By understanding stakeholder perceptions and developing strong, amicable stakeholder relationships both internally and externally, organisations are better prepared to manage reactions and stay ahead of the crises. It is vital to be well-equipped to manage, prevent and prepare for the unexpected. So get in touch with us today and let us help you develop an effective crisis management plan!


Written by Siobhan O’Brien

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