Crisis management needs response, not reaction

K S Susindar"Containing a crisis without allowing it to blow up is where the skills of the communication person and the PR agency come into play," declares K S Susindar, general manager, group corporate communications, Murugappa group. "Crisis does not call for reaction. It calls for response and a quick one at that," elaborates the 40-year old professional.

Susindar ought to know, having successfully tackled a recent crisis at Tata Teleservices, Andhra Pradesh, where he handled the company's communication and marketing.

Susindar recalls the episode, "On a busy, working day the police entered the company premises and took into custody some of our employees from their work place on the basis of a complaint lodged by a business rival."

To make matters worse, the rival company had even arranged for some photographers to be present to photograph the officials being taken into custody by the police.

There was enormous pressure within the company to contact the media and talk about the police action against the detained officials who were were merely engaged in carrying out the company's routine business.

However, Susindar's advice prevailed. "With four of my colleagues in custody, I advised against taking a strong anti-police stance."