Top 3 things your Crisis Communications Plan should include
By Alex Liddington-Cox and James Fitzpatrick
There are some basic elements that every Crisis Communication Plan should include. Whether you’re an international airport or an upstart technology company, your Crisis Communication Plan needs to have these three things:
Stakeholder List – Who you need to contact
Channel List – How you will contact them
Message Templates – What your message will be
When a crisis hits, who do you need to talk to and how are you going to contact them? If you haven’t got a list of stakeholders with a specific point of contact and multiple contact details, you’re already behind.
Creating and maintaining a stakeholder list will not only save you time when a crisis happens, it’ll show how much you need to communicate directly with stakeholders in the first hour, which is critical.
What other avenues are you going to use to communicate with your stakeholders besides the telephone? This is especially important for consumer-facing organisations that have thousands of people to reach when things go wrong.
Having a Master Channel List that includes all the contact and access details needed to start operating your social media, website, email, blog, apps and media is essential to any Crisis Communication Plan.
While a crisis cannot always be anticipated, the way your organisation will respond can be. If there’s a fire in the building, you’d conduct an emergency evacuation, call and coordinate with emergency services and provide support to anybody affected.
When there’s not a moment to lose, you can give help your organisation a crucial edge by having holding statements for different scenarios written ahead of time.
This gives your organisation the opportunity to get the right message to the right stakeholders quicker, while freeing up your communications team to spend their precious time troubleshooting more complex problems.
These three things may seem simple but so many organisations don't keep them up to date or have them ready to go; hampering their response time and efficiency in a crisis.
If you're looking for some advice or support in developing your Crisis Communication Plan, contact one of our crisis consultants. They can review your existing Plan or provide you with best-practice templates to help you build a new Crisis Communication Plan.