Neil Dhillon is a Washington lobbyist with many years of experience in State and national politics. His areas of expertise include Government affairs and public policy, solving complex legislative and regulatory issues, and strategic and crisis communications.
Crisis communication, he says, is an area of public relations designed to protect and defend an individual or organization that is facing a public challenge to its reputation. Any person or organization, he says, is vulnerable to a crisis, given the right set of circumstances. And the key to handling one is to be prepared.
Not being prepared for a crisis situation will only result in damage greater than it might otherwise have been, says Neil Dhillon. So it is important for a large organization that is in the public eye to anticipate crises and be ready for the near-inevitability of something going wrong. Sometimes it is easy to prepare for a crisis situation, if an organization is about to make a move that likely to have some negative public reaction, such as making an association with an unpopular or controversial issue. In such cases, he advises clients to think about possible responses ahead of time. It’s always better to plan ahead than to be forced to act under pressure.
As Neil Dhillon knows, it is important to have a crisis management team in place, with trained spokespersons at the ready. Spokespersons must have the right skills, the right position within an organization, and the right training, so that they public pronouncements will be informed and carry enough weight to make the right impact.
Be adequately preparing for crisis communications, Neil Dhillon believes damage can always be minimized.