A crisis, either of people, property or reputation, is best tackled long before it happens.
A comprehensive and regularly-revisited crisis management plan will be the white knight that comes to rescue you and your team when disaster strikes.
Creating a clear pathway to resolution gives your team more confidence and cohesion, while ensuring you meet your legislative requirements.
Importantly, having already determined the roles, processes and actions everyone will take saves time when time is of the essence.
Here are some other ways your crisis planning can ensure time is on your side.
Empower your media spokesperson
Managing the media during a public crisis is one of the most important, but also most time consuming tasks. As journalists rush to meet their deadlines, they’ll turn up the heat on your organisation. How you are seen to respond in the media will greatly influence how stakeholders perceive your entire crisis response efforts.
Nominating and training your media spokesperson, and backup spokesperson, in advance will enable your organisation to better handle this important stakeholder. And knowing the media will expect to hear from the Chairman, CEO or Managing Director, other important crisis recovery tasks will need to be delegated to other members of the management team.
Get ahead with templates and background information
Take time while you can to develop communication templates and collate background information for use in the case of emergency. This include internal and external phone lists, media lists, staff updates, holding statements, media releases, Q&As and company and/or project information.
You should have most of this information available already, but ensure it’s all in one place and everyone knows how to find it.
Log sheets prevent things falling through the cracks
Events can move rapidly making it hard to keep up with incoming information and requests from others for information.
By nominating people to keep a log of when, who and what happened, ideally on a white board where everyone in the crisis response team can see it, creates a single repository of “truth” that will be invaluable. This log will ensure the most up-to-date information is provided to media, government and other stakeholders, and also assists with post-crisis review and legal matters.
Honesty and integrity wins in the long run
If something happens, don’t try to hide it or cover it up as you will eventually be found out and breathe new life to an old crisis. If there is misinformation or rumours circulating, act quickly to clarify the situation. Above all, demonstrate transparency and a willingness to communicate to build trust.