The 10 Steps of Crisis Communication
It is the hope of every business person that they will never have to face a crisis. But, unfortunately, no matter how much you try to evade it, there is still a chance of dealing with a crisis, especially when it is least expected. During this crisis, communication is one of the most effective tools that can help end the crisis and reduce the effects of the crisis. However, for communication to work, there is a need for a good crisis communication plan. Below are ten steps that will help in crisis preparedness and response.
1. Have a Crisis Communication Team
During a crisis, there are many roles and responsibilities to assign to people who make the crisis communication team. For this reason, first, identify who will be the members of this team. Then, ensure that these are people in a position to respond fast and handle their duties professionally. This way, there is somebody responsible for handling any area where an issue may arise.
2. Have A Crisis Communication Plan
After the team is ready, they determine the plan that they need to implement. Though it is hard to plan for all occurrences, have an idea of the solutions you have in as many situations as possible. The plan should also include the role of every member of the crisis communication teams and what they should do in case of an emergency.
3. Identify the Vulnerable Areas
With the crisis communication team, point out the area most likely to cause a crisis in the business. Some of the vulnerable areas will have possible solutions by modifying the existing methods of operation. It is also possible to state the best and worst-case scenarios to help you know what to do as the problem progresses.
4. Select and Train a Spokesperson
Identify one person in the crisis communication team who is ideal for serving as the spokesperson. This should be someone with the right skills, proper training, and the correct position. In case their training is inadequate, explain to them how they are supposed to respond and lead the team in the event of a crisis. A crisis communication consultant can help train the spokesperson on how to be a spokesperson effectively.
5. Have A Good Notification and Monitoring System
During a crisis, every new information is crucial, especially to the manager. With this in mind, there is a need for a reliable information system in the business. This is the system that will update all people involved as soon as there is anything new.
6. Identify and Discuss Possible Scenarios
Sure, everyone is hoping for the best during the crisis. However, being honest and discussing all possible outcomes is the best way to reduce trouble. Therefore, discuss all possible scenarios without sugar-coating anything. That will help keep everyone prepared and help them do their best to reduce the repercussions.
7. Address Stakeholders
Stakeholders will expect the business to continue doing as well as usual regardless of the crisis. Therefore, please do not assume that there is no need to address them during the crisis. Instead, effectively communicate what is happening to the business to all stakeholders. This way, they can reduce the pressure they have on the business when they understand what is going on.
8. Anticipate Questions and Prepare for Answers
There will be numerous questions asked by people involved in the business because of the interruption caused. Some of the answers given may make the already bad situation worse. To avoid such scenarios, prepare for possible questions and their answers before time. These questions and answers can also be asked and answered on the business’ website, where the public can see them.
9. Work with Trustworthy Persons
The worst thing that can happen to a business during a crisis is having somebody working against it. For this reason, ensure that everybody working in the crisis communication team has the business’ best interest in mind. In case there is a suspect who could be working against the business, be careful and handle all crucial information secretly.
10. Create A Social Media Plan
It is wrong to keep customers out of the picture when the business is in a crisis. Social media helps ensure that customers are constantly updated on what is going on in the business. This way, the business sustains its customers, meaning that everything will continue following as usual as soon as the crisis is over.