Problems can arise anytime. It does not come with knocking the door. As part of a company being ready to take care of such a situation is vital. Time is definitely essence when a crisis or problem arises. It is up to the management to take necessary action. This is one of the major reason why companies, no matter small or large should have a crisis communication plan in place before any problem arises. When talking about crisis communication plan, mentioned are some steps to assemble an effective one:
Establish the Crisis Team
The first step towards effective crisis communication plan is to establish the crisis team. It is of paramount importance to know who will have a seat at the table as far as representing the key aspects of the organization, employees, operations, investors, community, customers and other stakeholder groups. It is this team that bears all the responsibility as far as making sound decisions are concerned and spreading the necessary communication. While the crisis communication plan is created, it is wise to include the name of the individual, phone number, cell phone, title and other important contact details.
Know and Prepare the Spokespeople
The next step is another vital one and includes preparing the spokespeople. You should know these people should not be the one who have addressed to the media for the media. Identify the person who will be the official voice of the company, that will handle any time of crisis effectively. Furthermore, ensure the person is trained effectively to carry out the task efficiently. However, you should know, that a spokesperson cannot be the same for every crisis or situation. Have a backup person, just in case.
Develop Procedures and Protocols
It is vital to know the chain of command in case of any crisis or situation. You should have everything in place, from who will be part of the whole approval process, what if a reporter reports the crisis before the team has even briefed on it and what the correct response on the same, to knowing what is the proper course of action if a crisis arises online. All these questions need to have proper answer during crisis planning.
Prepare for New Media’s Impact
Not many know but crisis communication has changed from what it was earlier. Everyone can now record a video, record an audio to take pictures. It is of paramount importance to monitor the crisis online too. You, as a company should know what people are talking about you. Based on this, you need to jump on any conclusion, with right answers. It is also the time to share the story of your brand in order to fix this situation
Brainstorm Possible Scenarios & Responses
No matter what crisis, ensure you have your responses ready. Whether fire, theft, natural disaster, bankruptcy, embezzlement, ensure you have right communication. Poor communication is the major cause to worsen the situation. Identify the potential situation and develop a response template with your team.
These are five major steps in crisis communication planning. Follow them and see the results!