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Crisis Communications 102

by | Mar 24, 2020 | Crisis Management Communications | 0 comments

Intro:

It’s time to take action to move your organization forward through the Covid-19 pandemic. Read through the 5 steps to help with developing a plan for your company’s Crisis Management response. This is part of my weekly series on Crisis Communications. Are there any aspects of your Crisis Response that you need some help with? I am here to help! We are all #bettertogether

With your basic communication plan in place, it is now time to plan for the future as best we can — given the circumstances. We need to face reality in these uncertain times and take the necessary actions to move forward. Following is a simple outline of the crisis response plan that your organization should be implementing. As with all plans, the scale and complexity will differ based on your industry, vertical, size, etc. This is a basic plan covering the minimum that should be considered and implemented.

#1 – LEVERAGE CAPABILITIES

External:

  • What is the main solution that your organization can focus on right now that will help in this situation?
  • Consider other partners, companies, and individuals that have offerings and capabilities that complement your organization to bring a more robust solution.

Internal:

  • Who are the individuals within your organization that have specific capabilities that will help in this time?
  • Are there adjustments that need to be made within your organization to allow for the temporary changes that need to be made for the current situation?

#2 – COOPERATION

External:

  • Now is not the time to worry about silly rivals or competitors. Now is the time to come together to help others.
  • Be the example that others should follow. Show others how to act in this time of crisis.

Internal:

  • Let go of your past grievances with colleagues, co-workers, and others to work together towards a meaningful goal that will impact others.
  • Encourage your teams to collaborate and provide transparency to one another. Divisions and departments were made to allow for focus and specialization; not create barriers that hinder progress.

#3 – DEVELOP A PLAN

  • Brainstorm worst-case scenarios and generate other future scenarios. Then, create a plan for each.
  • Consider how each individual aspect of the situation can affect the outcome and plan a response accordingly.
  • Group the responses by the severity of alert (ex: red, yellow, and green OR 1 through 5, etc.) to help simplify the process and provide consistency in actions where appropriate.

#4 – PRACTICE

  • PRACTICE and practice some more. This will help your teams to respond more quickly and calmly when faced with stressful situations.
  • Simply talking through scenarios and responses is beneficial, but not enough. Ensure that your teams experience drills and exercises as often as possible. (on a regular basis when not in times of crisis)

#5 – BE FLEXIBLE

  • Prepare your teams to be agile and adaptable.
  • Have more than one option for your responses.
  • Discuss where it is acceptable to make adjustments to the plan and where they need to be followed exactly.
  • Keep in mind that these are unprecedented times and that everyone is doing their best within the circumstances to provide solutions; for their companies, their families, their friends, the community, and the world.

DON’T FORGET TO COMMUNICATE!

  • This goes back to the communication plan that I discussed earlier in the week, but it is so important that it needs to be repeated.
  • Provide a simple, clear, and concise direction. Provide information covering immediate needs and assure others of their safety in the future.
  • People need leadership and inspiration right now and they are looking to you to provide it.

Check back next week for more tips on how to manage this pandemic throughout your organization. Let me know if there is something specific you would like me to cover. Send me an email if you would like me to help you create your crisis communication plan for your organization. Now is the perfect time to provide your employees and partners with leadership and direction.

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