The beginning of a new year is as good a time as any for assessing your pilot association’s communications strategy.
Strategies generally fall into two buckets - Proactive and Reactive.
Reactive strategies are those that respond, on-the-fly and without prior planning and preparation, to an unforeseen situation. The absolute worst time to be thinking strategy is when you should be responding to a serious problem or challenge. The first few hours of any crisis or incident are the most critical and largely determine success or failure of any response. That’s the brief period when precious time and any initiative can ill-afford to be lost.
Proactive strategies, by comparison, are aimed at reasonably anticipating and preparing for all possible scenarios. Advanced preparation gives you the capability to more effectively handle any threats, problems, issues and opportunities that may come knocking on your door. The proactive approach has very credible supporters.
The United States military defines the difference between proactive and reactive as the ability to “seize, retain and exploit the initiative” in any situation. The military can’t afford to be caught flat footed. And neither can the master mariners on whose shoulders rests the responsibility for ensuring the safety of their commercial waterways.
Besides the initiative, a proactive communications strategy delivers a number of other advantages and benefits.
For starters, you’re in a better position to seize and maintain control of your messages, to quickly correct misinformation and to counter criticism, and to nip rumors before they can cause damage to your hard earned reputation.
As past pilotage incidents have demonstrated, a proactive strategy equips you to effectively respond when a collision or allision occurs and triggers a Federal unified response.
Having a strategy beforehand also saves you time and money by enabling you to more prudently apply your resources.
Your communications with the media and public is credible and persuasive - you come across with snap and polish.
And, finally, you enjoy the peace of mind and confidence of knowing that you are ready to turn any threats and opportunities to your advantage.
There’s simply no good excuse today for lack of planning and preparation.
The Pilots PIO is available to discuss any questions that you may have about your strategic communications.