Prevention, preparation, acting in crisis and evaluation
Of course, it is possible, to prepare for crisis in advance. Prevention for example through reputation and stakeholder management or media monitoring is essential for a company or organization.
It is also necessary to prepare employees for crisis communication and to develop appropriate workflows. In case of a crisis there has to be a strategy – and of course reactive and proactive measures as well as a documentation.
In the evaluation you and your company or organization should learn from the crisis that happened. Here you can find a good overview and base for a working crisis communication.
- Reputations and Stakeholder Management
- Issues Management
- Building awareness in the organisation
- Media monitoring
- Tasks, Workflows, Equipment, Directories
- Scenario and Stakeholder Analysis
- Wording, Q&As and strategies
In a crisis
- Active monitoring and coordination
- Strategy and wordings
- Reactive and proactive measures
- Learnings and adaptions
Where can crisis come from?
There are several fields, where a crisis could come from. It is important to be aware of the fields, you might not think about – e.g.:
- Economic problems
- Misconduct of employees
- IT- or production problems
- Criticism of corporate activities
- Product problem
- Industry issue
- Terror attack or rampage
- Fire, building issue
- Environmental issues
Wordings, Key messages, Holding statement, Questions & Answers, …
In case of a crisis, you should consider the following messages:
- Statement & key message: Develop a holding statement and key message. They should be based on your communication strategy.
- Holding Statement: The holding statement has to provide an initial statement that sets forth the basic facts about the incident and let people know that you are actively dealing with the situation.
- Statements for various stakeholder groups: It is necessary to talk to specific stakeholder groups (e.g. employees, customers, media, shareholders) in a specific manner.
- Statements for various communication channels: It is also important to have statements for different channels (e.g. intranet, website, email, Twitter, call center).
- Questions & Answers: Think about possible (critical) questions in advance. In general questions, which are not necessarily answered by the texts already prepared, and develop answers for them.
A very common rule to deal in case of crisis communication is the 3R-Rule.
- Regret. Be real (and emotional). Offer your condolences. Do not take responsibility yet.
- React. Promise to investigate and solve the matter as quickly as possible. Tell people that you will provide an update when you know more.
- Re-inform. Provide updates.
Source: gaisberg communications