The Indianapolis 500 is this weekend and speed thrills, but it doesn't often win.
In the last 101 years (96 races), only 20 drivers won the pole position went on to win the race. Another quirky stat, 19 times the driver that had the pole position wasn't the fastest driver to qualify (Indy 500 rules give the pole position to the fastest driver on the first day of qualifying.) You have to be more than quick to succeed.
Getting back to crisis comms, there are three important tactics that can be more determinative of success than speed.
In the early days of a crisis, the pace of work required of communicators is overwhelming. As the workload shrinks (and it can shrink rapidly if someone else has a crisis that's more dramatic than yours) make sure your team's production stays high. You don't have to Tweet every three minutes, but you do need to keep the people impacted by the crisis in the know. Crises have a way of circling back around for a second or third wave. Staying consistent helps you maintain a credible place in the comms environment.
Most crises are complex events, yet people crave simple explanations for what's happening. Keep your messages as simple as possible so that your key audiences never have to struggle to figure out where your company stands on what's happening. The clarity bonus is especially important as others weigh-in on your adverse event. Conspiracy theories abound in a crisis. Conspiracies require complexity to survive. Clarity is the conspiracy killer, so keep it simple.
This is the single most important tactic you have in a crisis. It's human nature to want bad news to turn to good in times of great stress. If it wasn't, Hugh Grant wouldn't make movies. Facts are unfavorable to your company's reputation in a crisis, but don't try and convince people that those facts are anything other than what they are. If you spend less time trying to convince them of something that's not true and more time communicating your response, you will have a greater, more lasting impact over the arc of the crisis.