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Be Prepared: Create a Crisis Communication Plan

“Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.”

Cliché? Maybe. Good advice? Definitely.

With today’s real-time news and all-time online communication, every business owner, entrepreneur and marketing manager, must create a crisis communication plan before the worst happens. Here’s why.

You WILL Have a Crisis

Trust me, crises occur. From internal alleged harassment between employees and supervisors, to public backlash over a misstep on your or another senior leader’s part, stuff happens. If the crisis is not in your business, it can easily occur with a close business partner, a brand you have endorsed, or a client that you support. They may have a highly-visible crisis so shocking, their associates have to take action to save their own reputations. Regardless of the origin, my advice is to be prepared and minimize the negative impact of any crisis. Contact us, and we will help you create a crisis communication plan that reduces your stress from not knowing what to do.

Stay woke! Stay ready! Create a Crisis Communication Plan!

Real-Time Responses = Real-Time Success or Real-Time Damage

Inaction, inappropriate action, and delayed action, whether perceived or real, magnifies a crisis. This is especially true for public relations disasters. For example, when Equifax notified the public of a data breach that compromised credit data for half the country, their handling of the breach – more than the breach itself – ignited a firestorm.

When the unexpected happens, creating the perfect response or making the best decision takes time. However, with a crisis communication plan in place, there’s no need to figure these things out while under the stress of the incident. With a crisis communication plan in place, real-time responses = real-time success.

Create a Crisis Communication Plan

Crises comes in many forms, so think from all angles. You may even need different plans, depending on the general circumstances. For example, handling an internal crisis is different from handling an external one. Responding to client or customer complaints is different from responding to the domino effect of an associate’s crisis. No matter what the potential impact, own your crisis and create a plan that includes:

  • A chain of action –Identify and detail individuals responsible for communication. Include to whom, when, and through what channels.
  • Proactive actions – Get out of defensive mode and get in front of the problem.
  • Streamline decision making – Develop fast processes for making decisions and deciding what to say

“Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.”

It’s a cliché, but if you fail to plan, then plan to fail. Develop your crisis communication plan, review it at least twice a year, and pray you never have to use it!

 

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