Crisis Communications Agency

Fortitude provides crisis communications management services, via our on-going representation for clients, or on a project basis. We have successfully managed situations including employees facing criminal prosecutions and convictions, allegations of inappropriate employee behaviour, Health and Safety prosecutions, customer dissatisfaction, inappropriate social media posts and COVID-19.

What is crisis communications? 

Crisis communications is a specialist public relations service that is deployed to mitigate damage to a company’s image, with the aim of protecting its reputation via communications.

There are two main types of crisis in which crisis communications management can be of value: 

Unexpected crisis

A crisis which emerges at short notice with little, if any, warning signs. Often such crises are outside of an organisation’s control to prevent. For example, an environmental event could precipitate a crisis, leading to injury or loss of life and a potential negative impact on a brand. 

Simmering crisis

Minor issues are often ignored, which increases the risk of them developing into a series of problems and eventually a full-scale crisis, if they remain unresolved. For example, a technology failure or software glitch which remains unresolved could lead to a full system failure and a may result in a data breach of an organisation’s customers information by cyber hackers. 

In the modern era of rolling news, digital media and social media company crises are regularly reported on by both the mainstream media and consumers. It can be extremely damaging for a brand’s reputation and ensuring a fast and effective response to all key stakeholders is vital to managing the situation and minimising any lasting negative impact on perception and sentiment. 

How does crisis communications management benefit your company? 

Warren Buffett once said: It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. Think about that and do things differently.”

Crisis communications is crucial to protecting your brand’s image against various threats and challenges. Reputation is an invaluable asset and requires protection. Planning for a potential crisis can help it be avoided or reduce the impact should prevention prove to be unavoidable. 

Creating a crisis communications plan or including one in an overall communications strategy ensures the right processes and resources are in place should they be required at short notice when a crisis strikes. Furthermore, the process of crisis communications planning can help identify potential threats before they develop and provide an opportunity to tackle them early. 

Strong crisis management planning has also been found to improve employee well-being, safety, success and the overall value of a company. For some companies and industries planning for risks and health and safety issues is regulatory. In the event of a serious safety or regulatory breach a company’s behaviour and systems would come under scrutiny. How a company communicates in the event of a crisis can have a significant impact on the overall reputational damage. 

How crisis communications can save a brand’s reputation 

At Fortitude Communications we create a bespoke strategy to manage crisis communications, as every client is different. 

There are some core guiding principles that should be applied in the event of having to manage a crisis:

Be prepared

Have a plan that covers process and roles and responsibilities in the event of crisis, plus how a crisis will be managed via communications output. A crisis communications plan must contain four key pillars: honesty, transparency, accountability and consistency. 

Do not ignore the problem 

Do not ignore the problem, or your key stakeholders: employees, customers, suppliers, partners, the public at large and the media.

Fast and effective

Addressing the issue quickly and effectively can reduce the risk of it escalating in the media.

Use monitoring techniques

Use monitoring technology to ensure you are up to date on potential reputational risks across multiple digital platforms in real time. This will enable the business to be fully informed and ready to respond where appropriate.

Do not be afraid to say sorry 

If it is appropriate to do so say sorry and do it quickly. This demonstrates your company cares and will help mitigate the risk of the crisis building in the media.


Leadership in a crisis is crucial, both internally and externally. Demonstrate the issue is being controlled and managed and communicate using a measured, authoritative and reassuring tone.

Consistency of message

Once the right course of action has been determined maintaining consistency of message is important. Keep your stakeholders updated and repeat key messages.

Internal and external communications

Ensuring communications with all key stakeholders is important. A good plan will ensure there are no gaps in your activity. Engaging with colleagues and customers requires the use of different communications channels, tone of voice, messaging and language.

How can a PR agency help with crisis communications? 

When a crisis hits you need a fast and responsive solution to manage communications and the media.

A PR agency can be the ideal fit in such circumstances. It brings expertise, contacts, flexibility, focus and a result driven mentality. When a crisis hits the media will often contact your company for comment. Appointing a PR agency enables the situation to be managed effectively.

Fortitude have devised a clear plan to support organisations facing a live and unexpected crisis. Our communications support includes:

•Assessment and plan

•Create a response and process document

•Produce holding statement for media

•Create and manage a virtual press office

•Spokes person training

•Arrange and manage press conferences

•Monitor media – both online and print

•Provide on-going advice

How to measure the success of crisis communications?

A post crisis evaluation is an important process to follow to help ensure such issues can be avoided or better managed in the future.

To measure how effective a crisis communications management programme an examination of media coverage and social media sentiment should be conducted. What was the impact of the crisis and what were the outcomes?

To evaluate how successful crisis communications management programme has been requires examining whether the messages communicated during the crisis had the desired effect. Did the actions taken positively impact on the brand’s reputation and maintain customers, employee retention and shareholder confidence?

Fortitude Communications provides crisis communications management services

Our experienced team are on hand to support companies during an expected communications crisis. 

We work with clients to identify and manage potential threats and are nimble and fast in reacting to issues in real time. We act as spokes people and manage media relations, where appropriate. Fortitude understands how important your reputation is and our team have a proven track record in managing crisis communications. Our sector crisis communications expertise includes transport, law, technology, consumer, construction, sport and property. 

If you would like to discuss crisis communications please get in touch: info@​fortitudecommunications.​com

Oxford Bus Company
What our clients have to say

Fortitude provides us with an excellent media service — fast, reliable and effective. Greig takes the time to understand what we are trying to achieve through each of our stories and suggests appropriate angles to take and channels to use. He then uses his excellent relations with the media to maximise coverage and generate the right messages for our audience.

Phil Southall, Managing Director Oxford Bus Company

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