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Implementing A Crisis Communication Plan: The Do's and Don'ts

Simply put, crisis communication refers to the steps taken by an organization to navigate any unconventional problem that is likely to harm the business adversely. All the big brands in the world have experienced crises and through efficient measures and have managed to mitigate them too. Now, what is important to acknowledge here is the fact that both- internal and external communication needs to be on track otherwise a complete breakdown during a crisis is completely inevitable. 

 

Here is a small look into what happens in absence of a crisis communication plan: 

 

  • The operational response can get delayed and a lot of panic and miscommunication can occur. 

  • Stakeholders will definitely go into a negative mindset as they would not really know what is happening and this can create a lot of pressure on the employees as well. 

  • It can impact the identity and reputation of your organization. 

  • Additionally, the length of the time taken to mitigate any crises would be prolonged incurring major losses for the organization. 

 

In the following article, we would be referring to a crisis management plan template that can help you ensure that you do not suffer and panic during work and incur any losses due to lack of proper communication: 

 

Creating the right crisis management plan: 

 

  1. Be prepared and anticipate what’s coming your way: 

 

If you are proactive and wish to ace your crisis communication, then bring together your communication resources and ask them to brainstorm on all the possible crises that may occur at your organization. The two immediate advantages of this exercise include that some situations can be prevented easily by existing methods of communication and possible responses can be worked upon. In some cases, this can help in understanding how you will carry out the first few steps. Some experts refer to this form as a “vulnerability audit”. This can help you with understanding the potential. 

 

  1. Before that, make sure you have SPOCs set for your crisis communication time

 

Yes, what we are basically recommending is finding your most cool-headed employees who work the best during crises. You do not want to depend on people who are adept at just completing their to-do lists and have no presence of mind for strategic thinking. This way, you can have multiple SPOCs and ensure that they are acquainted with each other. So, that you do not have to waste time having any negative emotions for any employee during panic-stricken times. 

 

Here is how you can identify the right skills 

 

When we talk about the right people with the right skills who are the right SPOCs, here are some of the pointers you need to watch out for: 

  • Somebody who adapts well to any situation 

  • You need someone good with both verbal and written communication, as you need it mainly during crisis communication

  • Somebody in authority will help as most people tend to listen to someone who is in a higher position

 

  1. The next step is to ensure proper training for your spokesperson

 

When you find the right spokesperson, you need to ensure that they actually acquire proper professional crisis communication training. The best way to do this is to do thorough research on the kind of crises that companies from your industry have faced in the past. This can help you set a base properly for your crisis communication plan. So, make sure that you train your employees- to speak to the team internally, externally (to the clients) and if need be, then with the media. 

 

  1. Monitoring and Notification systems can help too

 

A monitoring system basically means that you know what’s happening on social media or how your brand is being perceived in the market. Hence, a monitoring system can help you understand in case there is a dip in the normal patterns. Additionally, having one dedicated emergency number or a notification system can also help in coordinating a proper notification system. 

 

 

  1. Identify and Know Your Stakeholders

 

As mentioned above, you should know about your external as well as internal stakeholders which matter to the existence of the organization. Organizations should treat the employees as a PR representative as well as a crisis manager for the organization. So, it's best to have a team that knows which stakeholder to speak to. This way, you can have set ways and you can just follow up with necessary SPOCs so that it saves on time. 

 

  1. Develop templates with proper holding statements

 

One of the biggest problems we face during crisis communication is to come up with strategic content. While we would know what to express, we can’t often put our head around how to communicate it. So, for instance, if you are a hotel chain, and you are in an area where natural disasters occur, having holding statements earlier can help. 

 

  1. Post-crisis evaluation 

 

There is no point in mitigating a crisis if we don’t learn from it. In order to ensure that your internal communication doesn’t ever falter, firstly get a dedicated tool sorted which is only for work. Secondly, go for a proper assessment and ensure that your key messages are finalized. 

 

What not to do with crisis communication

 

While we have covered the best ways to manage a crisis communication plan, here are some don'ts that you should steer clear of: 

 

  • Do not make your crisis communication plan too extensive. Do not keep background explanations and make it to the point. 

  • Do not try to nitpick your own communication as a crisis is not the time to be perfect. While you should be clear with your instructions, practicing extreme perfection can work against you and create a lot more errors. 

  • Do not exclude the primary stakeholders from your crisis communication plan. This can help in creating lesser confusion. Everybody praises honest communication and your clientele will appreciate it too. 

 

Closing lines...

 

With the aforementioned crisis management plan template, you surely can prepare your employees well in advance and ensure that during a crisis, you do not have to waste time on training. Instead, swift and fast action can help in sorting things out at the earliest. A crisis communication plan example can be best seen solved with companies that use tools like Oneteam for internal communication and are always abreast with the updates of the organization.

 

 

 



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Vinod Kumar
Hi I am honey sriwas. I am Passionate Content Writer and I love to eat, dance and write.
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