Companies, both small and large scale, do everything to avoid any negative comments, attention or reviews, that will hamper their reputation. You should know, time is the essence during a crisis. If you think, time will heal everything; then you are wrong. It only takes a single negative comment to ruin your reputation. This is one major reason why companies have crisis communication plan in place to fight any unforeseen crisis. It is one of the finest and effective ways to minimise the damage the crisis has created.
A lot of companies are of the view that neglecting crisis, whether minor or major is the best answer. However, by doing so, you are only ruining it further. A proper crisis communication plan helps in bringing your business back to the track. When it comes to developing crisis communication plan, mentioned are five major steps you can consider:
Establishment of the Crisis Team
Before you start with the development of the crisis communication plan, it is always wise to have the basics on track. You should know on whom you can rely in the case of any crisis. You have to consider all the major factors of your company from external communication, management, operations, legal, customer service and so on. When talking about crisis communication team, it majorly includes the head of communications, company’s president, public relations personnel, employees and more. You should know, the team you make is entirely responsible for making decisions and leading the communications. It is wise you also include the name of the individual, contact details, title and so on.
Recognise the Spokespeople
In times of crisis planning, it is important to have a single and consistent voice that can take up all the communication to the public and stakeholders. In short, they will be the official “voice” of the company. Ensure the spokesperson you choose is comfortable and clear when talking in front of the huge crowd.
Develop Communication Protocols
This is another important aspect you need to keep in mind during crisis communication planning. You are advised to know the channels you will be using to communicate, whether online or offline. Apart from this, you should also know the person who is responsible for making the updates, who will review and approve the communication and so on. Are there any approved procedures in the plan in case of an emergency?
Prepare Some Statements
Well, it is quite understood that statements cannot be pre-written in times of crisis as it completely depends on the situation. However, having some prepared statements that can be released to the public immediately is highly recommended. It majorly includes the history of the company, commitment, customer service, and so on. You can inform the audience by sending out brochures, videos and more.
Identifying the Key Audiences
Reaching out to the key stakeholders before they could hear the bad news during a crisis is important. Considering this aspect, ensure the crisis planning is done by identifying the key audiences. This majorly includes board customers, employees, clients, regulatory bodies and so on.