A crisis is perpetually around the corner for any organization. Effective crisis communication is key to avoid significant damage to your reputation with your stakeholders. Preparation won’t erase the crisis but will set the foundation for navigating the situation. Ineffective communication not only aggravates the crisis but threatens the integrity of your business.
Key Elements of a Crisis
Identify Types of Crises that can affect you
The first step of creating a plan is addressing the types of crises that can affect your business. These could be natural (tumultuous weather), financial/organizational (restructuring), or technological. Different occurrences create the need for key messaging relevant to the situation. Having messaging in place allows you to be proactive in releasing information and could even head off a crisis.
An accessible database of your stakeholders’ contact details should be included in a crisis communication plan. The contact list should also contain a directory for emergency services, organizations, and local government entities based on the type of crisis. All contacts should be properly maintained in order to remain current and easily accessible.
It’s imperative that a business recognizes and addresses the crisis as quickly as possible. Every minute you wait creates space and time for negative press and backlash from your customers. The first 24 to 48 hours are the most crucial. In the age of social media, companies can no longer afford to wait out the storm.
Name a spokesperson
The ideal spokesperson or persons should be your CEO, an executive, or your company’s most effective communicator. The spokesperson’s words and actions affect your stakeholders’ response to the crisis. Choose wisely as the members of your organization will direct inquiries and concerns towards this individual. Designating a spokesperson will help minimize the spread of conflicting reports and misinformation.
Establish a crisis communication team
When a situation arises, there should be clearly defined roles for releasing external and internal communications. The team can also include the senior leadership and mangers who can monitor social media platforms to gauge the mood among your audience. Your crisis responses will be more effective if they’re accurately tailored towards the customers’ concerns regarding the crisis.
Media training will teach your designated spokespeople how to respond during media pressure and interviews. It’s the media’s job to ask you the difficult question; it’s your job to speak clearly and present your company in the best light possible. Adequate training prepares your team to remain calm and collected when speaking and referring to your company’s messaging.
Crises are inevitable for companies, requiring immediate attention as well as delicate coordination. A proper crisis communication plan allows you to compose a swift and coordinated response and lets your company preserve its reputation during times of controversy. Niki Jones Agency specializes in crisis-management public relations and protects your company’s reputation. Discuss your crisis communication options by calling us at (845) 856-1266 or by visiting our website at https://www.nikijones.com/.
Niki Jones Agency