Crisis Communications Planning
Preparing a crisis communications plan is essential for an organization whose public reputation can significantly affect its viability. Most organizations don’t think a crisis can happen to them – until it does. It is important to be prepared should a damaging situation, whether large or relatively minor, occur because successfully handling a crisis will depend on your ability to communicate with your audience.
What is a Crisis?
A crisis is defined as any significant event that prompts probing, often sustained, news coverage and public scrutiny and has the potential to damage an institution’s reputation, image and/or financial stability. A crisis could be precipitated by an emergency or a controversy. Examples of an emergency include a fire, hurricane, flooding, crime or other event that presents a threat and typically involves a response from police, fire or emergency medical personnel. Examples of a controversy include an employee walkout, mismanagement of funds and/or mishandling of required duties.
DoubleDimond Public Relations principals have been, and currently are, on a number of clients’ crisis management teams and have gone through the FEMA certification process. Our crisis communications planning includes:
- Vulnerability audit
- Representative set of planning scenarios
- Identification of communications team and spokespersons
- Establishing notification and monitoring systems
- Identifying and working with stakeholders
- Developing holding statements and other communications materials related to the crisis
- Methods for post-crisis analysis