We all hope to never experience a crisis, but the best organizations anticipate and prepare for any potential crisis scenario well before one takes place.
What is a crisis?
A crisis constitutes a situation that poses an immediate threat or challenge to an organization, community, or society. Crises can take many forms, including natural disasters, accidents, public health emergencies, financial crises, and other unexpected events.
Crises can significantly impact an organization’s operations, reputation, and stakeholders, and they often require immediate action to manage and mitigate the situation. The severity and duration of a crisis can vary, and organizations can and should implement crisis management plans to address the situation and protect shareholder interests.
Crises can also be opportunities for organizations to demonstrate their values and commitment to stakeholders and to build trust and credibility through their response to the crisis. However, it is important for organizations to be prepared and have effective crisis management plans in place to ensure that they can respond effectively to crisis situations.
At Emerson Street Media, we prepare, practice, and lead our clients through any crisis situation and protect their reputation through effective communication.
What is crisis communication?
Crisis communication is the process of effectively communicating with stakeholders during a time of crisis. It involves the planning, preparation, and execution of communication strategies and tactics to manage the current crisis and minimize any negative impact on the organization’s reputation and operations.
A crisis may arise in various forms, such as a distortion in public perception, financial crash, product failure, labor strain, calamities, and more. Unfortunately, these events also seem to happen unexpectedly and without fair warning, pushing many businesses to the edge of bankruptcy or closure.
With the right team and the right preparations in place, businesses can avoid the worst outcomes of a crisis. To avoid the devastating consequence of any crisis, businesses should have a crisis communication plan prepared. An effective crisis response will provide clarity of the situation, reassurance to the key stakeholders and clients, and transparent accountability, which will help protect your reputation.
What is a crisis communication plan?
A crisis communication plan outlines the steps the responding members of an organization must take to convey a quick reaction in times of crisis. It guides the company in making initial decisions to deliver a consistent message to employees, specific individuals involved, and external stakeholders.
In addition, crisis communication plans also set appropriate protocols for the company well before a potential crisis situation arises, ensuring that when possible, a crisis can be prevented.
Why do you need a crisis communication plan?
All businesses must have an effective crisis communications strategy to convey their stance, maintain their operation, correct public perception, and maintain their integrity.
Without a plan in place, organizations may fail to provide a quick and appropriate response, which will then create a domino effect leading to further challenges in your business, such as mass resignation, loss of profits, litigation, etc.
Fortunately, you don’t need to do it alone. Emerson Street Media has the public relations expertise, industry experience, and scenario-specific communication tactics to help you develop a solid crisis communication plan.
What does a crisis plan include?
Effective crisis management plans cover detailed guidelines on how to write an initial response regarding a specific incident, including the key message and what channels to use when delivering a strategic response.
It also contains internal communication procedures, media lists, contact persons, policies, and more to guide the crisis management team.
What are the elements of a crisis communication plan?
All types of crisis communication plans must detail the following key elements:
- Members and roles of the crisis management team and crisis managers
- Trigger lists and activation criteria
- Media relations action plan
- Pre-approved drafts for stakeholders
Any form of communication in a time of crisis should uphold the goals of the plan, which are to reduce damage, provide a quick response consistent with the messaging approach of the team, and recover from the crisis.
Creating a crisis communications team in Washington, D.C.
During the crisis, it’s ideal to designate a spokesperson for the company and gather all information while providing support from clients and customers by establishing a dedicated communication line (via email, social media, phone number, or chat).
If you are facing a crisis or are proactively preparing for potential crises, our team of experienced communication professionals can help you develop and implement a comprehensive crisis communication plan.
Our crisis management process includes:
- Working with you to identify potential crisis scenarios and develop strategies to manage and mitigate them
- Helping you develop clear and consistent messaging to use in crisis situations
- Assisting with the creation of a crisis communication plan that outlines the steps your organization should take during a crisis
- Providing guidance on the best channels and tactics to use to reach your stakeholders during a crisis
- Training your team on how to communicate effectively during a crisis
Emerson Street Media Crisis Communication Team
At Emerson Street Media, we understand that crisis situations can be stressful and overwhelming. That’s why we are here to provide you with the support and expertise you need to effectively manage and communicate during a crisis. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you protect your organization’s reputation during times of crisis.