In the event of a crisis, the news media and other parties, including employees, will want to know basic information regarding the event – and they will want to know it right away.
The Crisis Team Leader, CEO or spokesperson should be prepared with the basics of what happened before talking to the media or other parties, including the families of victims if there are any.
The critical first message
Recognize the disaster or problem and relate what it is/was
Acknowledge fault (if clearly at fault) and express regret
Express sympathy for those affected
Report on steps being taken immediately to help assist with the immediate aftermath; and how you are cooperating with others including authorities
(If applicable) what actions will be taken to make amends to those affected
What steps will be taken to ensure a similar disaster won't happen in the future
If fault hasn't been determined, address 1, 3, and 4.
Remember to include the who, what, when were, why and how of the situation.