How to Create a Crisis Communications Plan
Although many cities and states are gradually reopening, the future with COVID-19 is still uncertain and therefore it’s always important for businesses to stay prepared and have a crisis communication plan in place. If you’ve made it through the pandemic thus far without one, consider yourself lucky, as many of Point Taken’s clients say their business would be struggling by now if it weren’t for having that plan in place. Point Taken explains how to create a crisis communications plan.
One aspect of a business that can be impacted that people may forget is their social media and online presence. PR software and services company Cision says there are several things a company can do to come up with a crisis communication plan that also protects their social media and website.
- Reach out to influencers in the area. These can be people with a large following online who can help promote your brand during a time of crisis. Point Taken can help you identify the right influencers for your brand and come up with appropriate incentives to get them on board.
- Identify stakeholders and sponsors who may be impacted by your company’s decisions. Have them on board with parts of the communication plan that relate to them. Point Taken can help you organize a list of those people and update them on the plan in a way that doesn’t cause panic or worry.
- Always monitor and paying attention to the latest updates locally, nationally and around the world. This will help you understand what people are talking about and why. Point Taken can find ways to relate those topics to your brand.
- Create alternative messaging platforms. Data breaches are very possible during a time of crisis so have a different form of contact ready to go in the case of an emergency. If you usually contact your customers via e-mail, maybe have a text alert or automated phone call ready to go. Point Taken can help you decide the best option for your business based on which method your customers would feel most comfortable with.
- Have consistent social guidelines when it comes to who is contacting your clients and in what way. Cision says consider the 5 W’s – WHO will talk on behalf of your company, WHAT they will say, WHEN and how often they will address your clients and/or the public, WHY they plan to speak and WHERE.
Whether forming a plan for social media/web, your business as a whole or both, having a plan and preparing for any type of crisis is key. Make sure to identify your team and every team member on the crisis communication team needs to know their specific role. All members need to have multiple forms of contact for each of their colleagues (i.e. cell phone, office phone, email, etc.). Referencing number five above, make sure the team spokesperson/people is known and that they are professionally trained. Point Taken offers media and spokesperson training (both in-person and virtually) and can help your business with this as well.
Many American organizations are completely unprepared or significantly underprepared for any type of crisis. Put your business in the percent that IS prepared and let Point Taken help you with your crisis communications plan.
Point Taken Communications, a boutique Jacksonville public relations and marketing firm serving brands nationwide, creates engaging campaigns that ignite positive change and move audiences to action. We go above and beyond, ensuring each client gets the best return on its investment. Our team of senior professionals has decades of experience bringing bold, creative ideas to life to help companies and nonprofits grow and evolve. At Point Taken, our clients inspire us to fuel progress for your organization, your industry and our world.