Crisis is a word that elicits fear and panic, and the definition of a crisis really runs the gamut. Everything from an emergency to an unexpected event can send your team into crisis mode. In the event of a crisis, unprepared teams can get frantic and immediately begin processing the following questions:
- What do we do?
- Who is in charge?
- Who is on my team?
- What should we say to the media?
- Are we ready for this?
Stressful right? Once you’ve been thrown in the trenches, the last thing a team needs is to ponder and “hope for the best”. What is needed is a plan, and for many of our clients, a crisis communication plan is the answer. If you don’t have a crisis plan for your team, here is how you can pull one together in 3 easy steps.
Identify your team.
A crisis communication team is made up of your internal staff and those chosen to represent the company by being trailblazers of communication in the event of a crisis. Ensure every department is represented and include contact information for all team members, both electronically and on paper. Choose and train a spokesperson who will serve as the “face” of the organization. This individual speaks to all media and should know how to strategically answer questions.
Build the communication processes.
In the event of a crisis, communication is your number one priority. Decide how the team will update and communicate information to others. It is important to remember that technology may not be available in some crises, (think natural disasters) so be sure to have a strategy for non-technological communication as well.
Remember social media.
Let’s be honest, social media has made relaying information, whether it’s true or false, so much easier. A retweet on Twitter reaches people across the globe in seconds. A share on Facebook is seen by a plethora of people in a day. Social media is the blessing of fast sharing but a curse on fact checking. Everything you read on the Internet is true, right? Wrong! This is why communicating accurate information on social media is an integral part of crisis communication. Make sure to monitor social media and ensure a timely response in the event that an issue online gains momentum.
Writing a crisis communication plan is no easy task. The document predicts all possible outcomes with no inkling of when a crisis will occur. The number one thing to remember is stay calm, and if you need to pad your team then give us a call. We are happy to help!