Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 4428 News & Views Magazine EDITION 1, 2016 No company in any industry wants to find itself facing a crisis communi- cations situation, but in the food industry it can be particularly dam- aging both in the short and long term for a company’s livelihood. Being prepared, serving as a credible source of information and reacting quickly are key factors in successfully handling a food crisis situation, according to J. Van Der Stoep of Sound Counsel Crisis Communications, LLC. Van Der Stoep said being prepared means a number of different things, including having a crisis communications plan in place and also being prepared to own the problem, which is crucial even if the facts are still being sorted out. “The response is often more important than the event itself,” Van Der Step said.“The public is quite forgiving of mistakes, as long as the organization that made the mistake is up front and honest.” Saying nothing, which some companies might be inclined to do, can be extremely detrimental, as well as trying to cover up or hide facts. Credibility also is key. Van Der Stoep defined credibility as “are you worthy of being believed. If you don’t believe me, then I don’t have credibility and it doesn’t matter what I say. For me credibility is first and foremost the central point in a food safety crisis.“Make sure the company is the source of credible information, instead of other people becoming the credible source.” Speed in reacting to the situation also is crucial. If a company isn’t prepared to respond as quickly as possible, someone else may step into that role. Being prepared doesn’t necessarily need to be time consuming. Once a crisis communications plan is in place – now typically only a couple of pages compared to 40 pages in years past - Van Der Stoep said companies need only spend as little as several hours every other year to prepare for a crisis communications situation. Unfortu- nately, many companies do not take the time to prepare for such a situation. “I have become an evangelist of preparation, ”Van Der Stoep said. Sound Counsel is located in Seattle, Wash., and helped food industry and other companies prepare for and handle crisis communications. Key in Food Crisis Communications By LISA JAGER - CLFP Marketing & Communications Director v Three Guiding Principles in a Food Crisis Communications Situation Credibility ■ Speed Be Prepared to Own the Problem Preparedness, Credibility and Speed “The response is often more important than the event itself. The public is quite forgiving of mistakes, as long as the organization that made the mistake is up front and honest.” J. Van Der Stoep