What do you do when the worst happens? When a disaster strikes your company, having a crisis communications plan in place saves precious time, resources and, ultimately, your company as a whole. Here are six reasons why you should protect your company, even on the sunniest of days when a crisis is least expected.
- Be prepared for many different scenarios: A well-developed crisis plan includes the guidelines for how to handle any type of event, every identifiable risk to a company, including natural disasters, workplace accidents, damaged or harmful products, discrimination, criminal behavior from employees, customers or other parties and a host of other situations. Because the type of crisis plan needed will vary based on industry, audience, geographic location and many other variables, the more risks and possible scenarios that are identified in the plan, the more prepared a company will be in the event of a crisis.
- Everyone knows his or her role: A crisis communication plan clearly lays out who does what:
- the leader of the effort
- primary contact and spokesperson(s) to address the media
- primary contact and spokesperson(s) for employees
- developer of messaging for the media and for employees
- the monitor of the company’s social media and new media coverage
- When everyone knows what their responsibilities are in advance, as well as the chain of command, the transition into crisis mode is much smoother.
- The plan identifies key audiences and stakeholders: Knowing who you need to communicate with most is a timesaver. Which key media, organizations, government agencies, customers, employee groups, etc., need to hear company information in a crisis? A good crisis plan includes a list of specific key audiences for every possible type of crisis.
- Practice makes perfect: If you already have a plan in place, you can easily run “crisis” drills, which allow your staff to familiarize themselves with each step of the plan. Think of it like a fire drill, for example. In an actual fire, no one needs to be told where the stairs are or where to meet their team outside, because drills have ingrained that knowledge already.
- Confidence is key: All team members will be more confident with a plan in place. The last thing you want when handling a crisis is for employees to be unsure of themselves and their actions. Having a plan in place and training employees accordingly will increase their confidence when the moment arrives.
- Get back to normal: The end goals of any good crisis communications plan are to minimize damage to your company and to get your company back to focusing on what it does best: providing quality goods and/or services to valued customers and clients. The more thought-out and thorough the plan, the quicker your company can get back to normal.
A crisis can strike when you least expect it, so it is better to be prepared with a plan than have to scramble for what to do in the midst of a crisis. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits and components of a crisis communications plan, contact Rountree Group at 770-645-4545.