A crisis is an opportunity to change one’s culture, to model scenarios and set up a crisis plan/process, to become a better company. But it’s also a bit like therapy, from the act of asking probing questions to get at the facts … to dealing with emotions and conflicting agendas.
In this hallway-style conversation with a16z’s Margit Wennmachers and Kim Milosevich — who previously shared the why, how, and when of public relations — we (with Sonal Chokshi) explore the process and mindsets behind the outcomes of a crisis in lieu of specific examples. Because it’s something that seems so obvious to those who are on the inside (but even then it’s really not!), yet is actually a bit of a “black box” to founders and others who aren’t familiar with crisis comms 101.
What constitutes a crisis? Can someone inside a company “call it” early and prevent a crisis from becoming a bigger deal? How do you respond when there’s a lag or too much time between acknowledging the issue and finding out all the facts? Who should be in the (war) room where it happens? Should you share the off-the-record background story with reporters? How do you know when a crisis begins and ends — or that you’re ready for a “comeback” story? We explore all this and more in this episode of the a16z Podcast. One thing’s for sure though: It may seem like a public relations or media problem — but it’s really a business problem, and is often tied to internal culture and values. So how to make that an opportunity (without being opportunistic about it)?
Kim Milosevich is the chief marketing officer of crypto where she is responsible for the brand, marketing, events and communications of Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto fund and web3 efforts.
Margit Wennmachers s the head of marketing at a16z.
Sonal Chokshi is Editor in Chief of Crypto at Andreessen Horowitz.
The a16z Podcast discusses the most important ideas within technology with the people building it. Each episode aims to put listeners ahead of the curve, covering topics like AI, energy, genomics, space, and more.