Crisis Communication

Crisis Communications planning should be done by all businesses. Since the best time to plan for a crisis is when a company isn’t in one, CHC works with clients to prepare in advance. Like a fire extinguisher, a crisis communications plan should be ready to go immediately. A proper crisis communications plan requires many talents, most especially clear thinking, experienced counsel, and superb media relations skills. No matter the extent of the brewing or active crisis, CHC has the capabilities and experience to meet existing or potential demands.

  • We have handled data theft issues, assisting a national company in clearly communicating the scope of the situation to customers who may have been affected, and preparing the company for comment if the issue became publicly known. The proactive stance the company took assuaged consumers’ concerns and kept the issue from becoming a news media story.
  • Acquisitions are great news for many companies, but if you are the company being acquired, it can be extremely disrupting to employees and the local community. Working with a national multi-channel merchant, CHC crafts internal and external communications that answer employees and the public’s immediate questions, while positioning the benefits of the acquisition to all audiences.
Crisis Communications

A proper crisis communications plan requires many talents, most especially clear thinking, experienced counsel, and superb media relations skills.


A crisis can be defined as a significant disruption, which stimulates extensive news media coverage and public scrutiny that affects the organization's normal business activities. Crises demand quick response and can create temporary and long term havoc within an organization.

Every organization will face a crisis at some point, and to ignore that fact can only compound the damage: It's not if the organization will be affected, it's when and how greatly business will be disrupted. An organization does not have to be a high profile entity to experience a crisis that becomes front-page headlines.

A paramount factor in minimizing and surviving a crisis is the goodwill established by the company among its stakeholders - clients, employees, stockholders, community leaders and the media. Obviously, the best time to prepare for a crisis is when you are not in one. To this end, a continuing, consistent effort of outreach and communication with all affected audiences cannot be dismissed. Simultaneously, we monitor events with an eye toward other crises that can erupt.

CHC recognizes the critical importance of communication during a crisis to instill confidence among all audiences that our client remains in control, and is effectively and efficiently doing everything necessary to return operations to normal, optimal conditions. It is also our specialty to place the crisis in its proper perspective with the media.

CHC has counseled clients on a broad range of issues:
  • Fraud and Security/Data Theft
  • Bankruptcy and Liquidation
  • Business Closure/Out-of-State Relocation
  • Reduction in Force (RIF)
  • Acquisition/Divestiture
  • Fire Destroys Facility
  • CBS 60 Minutes Investigation
  • Sweepstakes: Legislative and Media Scrutiny of Industry
  • Holiday Shipping Breakdown
  • Nationwide UPS Strike
  • Privacy Protection
  • Environmental Impact of Direct Mail
  • Direct Marketing Industry Image
  • Carry-on Luggage Restrictions
  • Consumer Accident Involving Product
  • NIMBY - Not In My Back Yard
To minimize the impact of a crisis, Caugherty Hahn Communications, Inc. works closely with clients to immediately address the difficult issue and to deal with "smoldering" crises that can erupt. Our media, community and employee relations expertise informs and educates audiences, while protecting the client's best interests. We also work effectively with client legal counsel.

Crisis Communications Case Studies

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