Handling the Legion KKK Crisis
Just recently, as reported in the Intelligencer and now the Globe and Mail, the Royal Canadian Legion has a major crisis on its hands. While the wearing of a racist costume is bad enough, the fact that it was rewarded first place as best costume is worse. In order to address this crisis, the Legion should do the following:
Have a crisis situation pre-made: When organizing this event, the Legion should have thought “a bad scenario is if someone wears a costume which is not acceptable to wear at a Legion event, despite it being Halloween”. Any costume, whether it be highly racial, sexist or derogatory could be covered by this scenario. Once they establish a crisis situation they should:
Prepare a Response: They could prepare a statement ahead which accepts blame and apologizes, such as “We at the Legion do not condone this kind of costume and this action does not reflect our opinions or views. We do not condone (insert bad activity here) and are deeply sorry and regret the (specific actions which occurred). We will investigate why this occurred in order to prevent this from ever happening again. We have also reprimanded those involved.”
Use the Media: Use television, print, radio, Twitter, Facebook and even advertisements repeating their message in order to get the truth of the story out to anybody who may have been exposed to various romours. Also, get a person with authority in the Legion to say the message as a way to gain credibility. Chances are that most people will hear of it by word of mouth so reaching as many people as possible, quickly, is imperative.
Ride out the Blame: Once accepting the blame, the Legion can let the initial outrage subside and continue to fix the problem internally by making sure every member knows that a similar situation cannot happen in the future.
The Legion may not have had a prepared statement or even planned for a crisis such as the current KKK one. Yet, if they had the damaged to their reputation could be less severe. Even now, if they accept blame, apologize and eliminate the causes the Legion can recover from this crisis. The Legion KKK Crisis is another example that crisis can be managed effectively by preparing for every possible crisis scenario.