What is crisis communication?
Crisis communication is the technologies, systems, and protocols that enable an organization to communicate efficiently during a crisis. Given that crisis usually occur unexpectedly, a crisis communication strategy is a process of preparing your business to face crisis storms of all kinds.
Why is a crisis communication plan beneficial?
- Higher awareness
- Lower impact
- Accelerated responses
- The strength of being prepared
Here are eight tips for crisis management in the workplace:
Prepare all employees ahead of time
Crises do not only impact employees; sometimes, they are also the people responsible for picking up the pieces. Reports suggest that employees react to crises in a variety of ways, from insecure and panicked to frustrated and betrayed. Before a crisis occurs, make sure that all employees are accustomed to company policies and procedures.
Identify your crisis communications team
Nominate a team of senior executives, including legal experts and public relations. If you are a smaller business or you do not have in-house expertise, you can decide to work with an independent consultant or an agency that specializes in crisis communications.
Train your crisis communications team
While all employees should follow company procedures and policies, chief communicators and leaders are required to understand how exactly to respond. One of the most efficient ways to be ready for crises is by learning from others. You can do this by generating case studies based on recent events.
Develop a crisis communications plan
Evaluate your channels of communication and learn how you can leverage each channel during a crisis. This may be a company or departmental meetings, emails, intranet, or a combination of all of these.
Don’t sacrifice accuracy for efficiency
Interconnectivity indicates that employees, customers, competitors, and media can publish stories before your in-house team is ready, whether or not those stories are accurate or complete. During a real crisis, a timely response is important, but accuracy is absolutely crucial.
Be honest and follow-through
If you are not aware of the truth yet, or your business is not quite ready to respond with a complete message, communicate that. Inform stakeholders that the company is collecting information and preparing a formal response.
Assess your response and brainstorm improvements
After a crisis, evaluate the response of your in-house team. Did your crisis communications strategy work productively? Did your external communications preserve your organization? Was the overall plan appropriately performed? After you examine what worked and what didn’t, brainstorm how you can enhance the process.
Share these changes with your internal team
Once you discover how you can enhance your crisis communications plan, share those improvements with your employees. This will help you prepare and reprepare all employees. You want to ensure that every employee is on the same page with the company.
Deficiency in preparation for crisis management can be a crisis in itself. Train all employees, educate, and identify your crisis communications team, develop a crisis communications plan, don’t sacrifice accuracy for speed, be honest, and always work to enhance your processes.