Planning ahead for a crisis isn’t necessarily at the top of anyone’s to do list. But it is a plan that you will want to have in your back pocket. A company’s actions in the hours immediately following a crisis are critical in limiting the impact of the crisis. But with no plan and no strategic execution process, companies find themselves scratching their heads in the middle of the storm. As a company you must break a communications plan into three steps: planning, identification and management. You must have a plan to ensure that a crisis doesn’t occur. You must have a process to identify if the situation is a crisis. And, you must have a management plan to make sure that a spokesperson is designated and roles are identified.
Being in the midst of a crisis is no fun. We can all think of companies or individuals who have been in the midst of a crisis and we watch the train wreck spiral out of control. We guarantee that these companies didn’t have a plan OR that the plan was not properly executed. The court of public opinion is louder than ever thanks to social media. This only means that having a crisis communications plan that properly lays out how you will address issues is a necessity.
Gather your team, sit down and figure out what types of crisis may occur in your field. Figure out how to stop them from occurring, and then map out how you will handle them in the event that they do occur. From there, you can easily segway into the identification and management components of your plan. It’s a tedious task, but one that will bring a little calm to whatever storm may come your way.
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