Creating your Crisis Communication Plan
If you have a Crisis Communication Plan, you’ve probably already got it off the shelf. No plan? It’s not too late to pull one together in our 5 easy steps.
The world is unpredictable and, at times volatile. Almost out of nowhere events can present you with a crisis which jeopardises your carefully prepared business plans.
Coronavirus, or COVID-19 is exactly this kind of challenge.
The last thing you should do is panic. There are things you can say and do to ride out the storm and position your business to bounce back from any setback. A Crisis Communication Plan will help.
So, how should you react? What can you do? What do you say? And who do you need to speak to?
5 steps to creating your Crisis Communication Plan
Step 1 – Recognising there’s a problem
What is the crisis? Share your thoughts with your senior team – or get someone external who understands business to brainstorm through the potential impact. There may be areas of your operations that you just haven’t identified as being at risk.
Step 2 – Who do you need to speak to and inform?
Think internally and externally. Who are your stakeholders?
- your own staff and key contractors
- clients, customers, and potential customers
- backers, investors, shareholders, bank
- landlord, logistics partners…
List all of them and their contact details.
Step 3 What are you going to say?
Don’t be defensive. A crisis like Coronavirus is nobody’s fault. You can be honest.
We advise being factual and truthful.
- people will want to know if you can continue providing a service and how you will be doing that.
- Let people know whose advice you have followed. This will give them confidence about the actions you are taking.
- the biggest message you can communicate:
“We’re still here and we’ll be doing our best to provide a service”
Prepare your messages. Every stakeholder group is different, so you’ll want to modify the language and style for each.
Step 4 How are you going to communicate?
Every business is different. You’ll have established channels that you use to reach different stakeholders. Use them. People will be thrown if you change from emails to Twitter, or email them when you always phone.
Step 5 Do it!
Now it’s time to speak to your own team. They are your first stakeholder group. They need to know how the business is going to respond to the crisis, and they are going to help implement the plan.
We’re here to help
Positively Media will be adding more tips for implementing crisis communication plans in the coming days.
Just get in touch if you have any questions, or want to chat to us about your plan.