October 28, 2021 Posted by Pocketstop in Crisis Communications, Mass Notification Social Share
Knowing what and how to communicate during the stages of crisis management will help you protect your organization, staff and customers and also greatly reduce its damaging impact. Although you can never be sure when an emergency will happen — and there is no guarantee that your plans will be 100% successful — having a plan in place will surely keep you organized and may even save lives. This will also be more acceptable to your clients and the general public that you have a plan in place, and give peace of mind to your staff.
It seems like a daunting task, but if you start now and make a plan, you’ll be amazed at how quickly it will come together. Here are some key tips for getting started by thinking of your plan in stages:
First, divide your stages of crisis management into three types:
- Physical: natural disasters, tech failures, chemical spills.
- Human: confrontations, violence such as mass shootings.
- Management: mismanagement, misconduct, bad press.
Then, with each of the three types of crisis management, form an action plan divided into three stages:
Think of this as the warning stage. The event has yet to happen and it more than likely is not on your radar. Now is the time to think and plan and be proactive. You’ll want to assess what kind of impact a typical emergency or disaster can have on your business and even more importantly, on your customers and staff.
Crisis Response Stage
Clearly, this is what you and your management team say and do –- and to whom –- as the crisis happens. For important communication, break this down into specific audience segments -– who needs to know what, how and when. For example, when you think of public relations, this is an accurate example of how it can be used to its best advantage to help you control the narrative and your message to the public. Whatever you do, don’t ignore the situation and hope that it will go away. Your goal is to handle the situation in the moment and then move to the next stage. For employee, stakeholder, vendor or customer communications, use a mass notification system to keep your people updated and informed by delivering messages via phones, text messages, voice messages and emails with just a few clicks. Navigate!
It’s now a return to business as usual, but not entirely. In business, things move fast, and it’s possible that this emergency event could be put into the rear view mirror as everybody moves on. However, this is no time to get comfortable. Instead, follow up with both internal and external communications — reputation repair could mean everything to your future. Win back the trust of your staff, your customer base and the public. Be honest about what happened and what you are going to do to keep it from every happening again. If you don’t have any answers, share that you are on the case and will get answers. Be available to the press, and be open to constant updates on social media and in-house communication.
At all stages of crisis management, be sure to have a reliable mass notification system.
Look for a crisis management communication platform that specializes in helping you send mass messages in real time — at every stage of crisis management. Your technology should keep staff and customers informed and safe in the event of an emergency, as well as help you gain insight into the field. The platform should be user-friendly, flexible and able to provide you with efficient 24/7/365 customer support. It should also offer world-class protection that keeps your data and business safe. Your platform should be reliable and fast, no matter what type of emergency you are experiencing, with two-way chat, polling and acknowledgements to let you know where you stand with your people at every stage of the crisis.
Crisis management is not easy. As you can see, it is best handled in stages; otherwise you will become overwhelmed and unprepared. Good crisis management skills can help to minimize damage and perhaps even help to make your organization stronger than before. Remember that no business is immune from crises, so you have to do all you can in order to be prepared at all times.
Need to know more about exactly what to say? Read more about crisis management and communications from The Institute for Public Relations. Click here.
Concerned about ethical issues connected to your crisis management? Penn State University has addressed public relations ethics in light of a crisis. Click here.