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Crafting Effective Holding Statements in Crisis Communication

Key Takeaways

– A holding statement is a crucial tool in crisis communication.
– Holding statements should convey empathy, action, reassurance, examples, and details.
– Providing regular updates and setting expectations is essential.
– Companies should have a list of safety measures and information ready for journalists.


In today’s fast-paced and interconnected world, crises can strike at any moment. Whether it’s a product recall, a data breach, or a public scandal, companies must be prepared to respond swiftly and effectively. One of the key tools in crisis communication is the holding statement. In this article, we will explore the importance of holding statements and how to craft an effective one that addresses the needs of stakeholders and the public.

The Importance of Holding Statements

When a crisis occurs, the first few hours are critical. Stakeholders and the public are hungry for information and reassurance. A holding statement serves as a temporary response while the company gathers all the necessary facts and formulates a comprehensive plan. It allows the company to acknowledge the situation, express empathy, and outline the steps being taken to address the issue.

Conveying Empathy

One of the most crucial elements of a holding statement is conveying empathy. It is essential to acknowledge the concerns and emotions of those affected by the crisis. By expressing empathy, the company shows that it understands the gravity of the situation and is committed to resolving it.

Taking Action

A holding statement should also outline the immediate actions being taken to address the crisis. This could include launching an investigation, implementing safety measures, or reaching out to affected individuals. By demonstrating a proactive approach, the company reassures stakeholders that it is actively working towards a resolution.

Providing Reassurance

Reassurance is another critical component of a holding statement. It is important to communicate that the company is committed to preventing similar incidents in the future. This can be achieved by highlighting any changes in policies, procedures, or personnel that will be implemented to prevent a recurrence.

Offering Examples and Details

To build trust and credibility, a holding statement should provide specific examples and details. This could include information about the steps being taken, the timeline for resolution, or any relevant statistics. By offering concrete information, the company demonstrates transparency and helps stakeholders understand the situation better.

Regular Updates and Setting Expectations

A holding statement is just the first step in crisis communication. It is crucial to provide regular updates to keep stakeholders informed of the progress being made. This can be done through press releases, social media updates, or direct communication channels. Additionally, it is important to set expectations for further information. If the investigation is ongoing, the company should communicate when it expects to provide a more comprehensive update.

Preparing for a Crisis

To ensure a swift and effective response, companies should have a list of safety measures and information ready to provide to journalists in the event of a crisis. This could include contact information for key personnel, relevant statistics, and any other pertinent details. By having this information readily available, the company can respond quickly and accurately, minimizing the impact of the crisis.


In conclusion, holding statements are a crucial tool in crisis communication. They allow companies to acknowledge a crisis, express empathy, outline immediate actions, and provide reassurance. By offering examples and details, companies can build trust and credibility with stakeholders. Regular updates and setting expectations for further information are also essential. By preparing for a crisis and having relevant information readily available, companies can respond swiftly and effectively, minimizing the impact on their reputation and stakeholders.

Written by Martin Cole

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