Preparation Is Crucial in Crisis Communication

Patricia Fripp 12-17

Preparation Is Crucial in Crisis CommunicationIn the event of a crisis, your organization might be overwhelmed by the media or by the disaster itself; it could become nearly impossible to provide thoughtful responses and accurate information without a crisis communication plan already in place.  In light of the recent and tragic loss of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, I share this from Ragan Communications:

Never believe that any crisis is too big or too complicated to prepare for. You can prepare a crisis communications plan that will address every scenario you may face. Your crisis communications plan can have an addendum of pre-written news releases and media advisories for even an extended crisis like Malaysian Airlines. You can test your crisis communication team, your crisis management team, and your spokesmen with a crisis communications drill annually. You can conduct media training annually for everyone who may have to serve as a spokesman.

This isn’t rocket science, but it does require a commitment from the public relations team and from the leadership team. So, will you prepare and perform flawlessly or will you leave everything to chance? (To read the complete article by Gerard Braud, “5 Lessons Learned from Malaysia Airlines’ Crisis Response” visit: http://www.ragan.com/Main/Articles/48122.aspx)

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security provides crisis communication guidelines and makes these recommendations:

A business must be able to respond promptly, accurately, and confidently during an emergency in the hours and days that follow. Many different audiences must be reached with information specific to their interests and needs. The image of the business can be positively or negatively impacted by public perceptions of the handling of the incident. …understanding potential audiences is key, as each audience wants to know: “How does it affect me?” (For more information visit: http://www.ready.gov/business/implementation/crisis)


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