Kudos to US Airways on how they handled themselves during yesterday's airliner crash in New York. First to the pilot and flight crew for their decisions and actions that saved so many lives. But also to the company who showed how a good crisis communications plan works.
What am I talking about?
Look at the clutter of all the politicians (mayor, governor, borough president) pushing each other aside to get in front of the cameras. Yet the only public comment from US Airways was delivered by a spokesman in Phoenix. Nothing from local (New York) US Airways representatives.
And that is how it should be, especially in a time of crisis. US Airways executed its crisis PR plan to perfection, with all communication funneling through a single spokesperson who was well prepared and provided enough information, but not too much. One message, cohesively delivered.
Every company should have a written crisis communications plan in place to help them deal with critical audiences (employees, customers, media, investors, regulators) in the event of a disaster or emergency. Once the goose hits the engine, it is too late to start thinking about who is going to say what, and to whom.