When conducting crisis press briefings, you are the face of your company or agency. You must deliver facts with authority and, in many cases, take questions with patience and grace. But your first job is to sincerely show that you care about those whose lives have been impacted or lost in the unexpected event.

Empathy  and compassion are crucial to conducting a successful press briefing. They should be expressed early in the briefing, giving the audience a window into your firm’s culture and priorities. A recent example is that of a heartbroken Australian firefighter supervisor who set the right tone in announcing the death of one of his men:

The supervisor’s words and demeanor left no doubt that he cared for his team and their families. Hopefully you will never face the media under similar circumstances. But if you do, his example is one to follow.