Editor’s Note: This blog post has been republished to reflect the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Every organization, no matter its size or industry, is vulnerable to the ever-looming threat of a crisis. And the areas where things can go wrong run the gamut—from workplace violence and natural disaster, to a security breach or product recall—making it difficult for even the best-run organization to know exactly where to begin.
Fortunately, many crises are relatively foreseeable, smoldering for some time before they eventually emerge to the surface. However, few organizations actually take the necessary action to prevent or reduce their impact during these early stages. In fact, only 49% of businesses have a crisis response plan in place, and even fewer—just 32%—engage in crisis scenario training, according to a 2016 survey by Deloitte.
It’s easy to see how responding to a crisis can be a daunting and overwhelming task for an organization—there are a lot of moving parts involved. It can be tempting to just bury your head in the sand and hope the problem eventually goes away. But doing so will only make the situation worse.
With the explosion of social media and other means of communication, news can go viral in a matter of minutes—and bad news travels even faster. When a crisis hits, how you respond in the first 15 minutes can either make or break your organization. This communication is pivotal to whether your reputation will bounce back stronger than ever or be irreparably tarnished.
In order to successfully survive a crisis, preparation is key. An organization must be ready to respond in a prompt, accurate and well-coordinated manner. Having a crisis communications plan in place will ensure that all business representatives are informed and on the same page when it comes to responding to a crisis—ultimately minimizing its impact and instilling public confidence in your organization.
In this 7-step crisis communications e-book, you’ll learn how to help your business:
- Identify your crisis management team;
- Determine your audiences and communication platforms;
- Create a “dark space,” or pre-built web page, on your website;
- Thoroughly assess the crisis situation;
- Develop your key messaging;
- Deliver your message to target audiences; and
- Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of your communications.
Is your organization prepared to successfully navigate and survive a crisis when it hits?