A crisis can often strike unexpectedly, much like the COVID-19 pandemic that came out of nowhere and spread quickly like wildfire across the globe. Are you prepared for a crisis to strike? Here are the three things we recommend everyone consider when planning for crisis communication.
Organizations of every size should be proactive, prepare for the worst, and hope for the best. Having a solid crisis communication plan in place is the best way to be prepared for the unexpected. It serves as a guideline that directs the necessary steps to take when an emergency occurs and how to communicate effectively with all stakeholders such as the public, media, investors, vendors, social media audience, clients, and staff. If you don’t have a crisis communication plan in place, get started on one!
Select a Spokesperson
Start with assigning a spokesperson to speak on your company’s behalf to avoid mixed messaging that can become confusing and contradictory. The spokesperson is often the company’s CEO or communication director. This person must be a good communicator who knows the details of the crisis, the steps the organization is taking to address the issue, and what to say (or not say) while the situation is developing. They will respond to media questions, address public concern, and inform key. A good spokesperson will be authentic, honest, well-spoken, and maintain a professional appearance.
Clear Messaging is Key
Key messaging that has been written and approved ahead of time should be part of your crisis communication toolkit. You’ll need messages that are on brand and ready when the unexpected happens. Messaging may include prepared quotes from the company CEO and press releases. Tools and tactics to deliver the key messages should also be outlined in the plan, as well as identification of key employees or a marketing agency that will work efficiently and effectively to ensure optimal messaging, distribution and response. Once messaging is distributed across all platforms, reactive communication should be activated. Social media channels and other platforms should be monitored and comments responded to in real-time.
Crises can vary. They may come in the form of an unhappy customer making noise, a disgruntled employee, fake news, rumors, destructive weather, or a pandemic. Regardless of the crisis, if we learned anything from this pandemic, it’s to be prepared for the unexpected. Walk away from COVID-19 wiser and stronger. Walk away with your crisis communication plan in hand.
If you need assistance developing a crisis communication plan or have any questions, call 239-690-9840 ext. 1001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your free virtual business marketing consultation today.