How To Communicate In a Crisis
From climate change to the inflated cost of living, it seems like the world is in a perpetual state of crisis. This applies equally to the business world, as 69% of business leaders have been reported as experiencing crises over the last five years, with the average number of crises being three. Thankfully you can count on Amplify PR, as we share our crisis communication tips in this blog.
Creating Your Crisis Communication Plan
Planning is essential when it comes to the management of business crises. Time should be spent reviewing and reflecting on the potential impacts. It’s worth posing the “what if” question, identifying the ways that crises could affect everything from team performance to perceptions of your brand. Plans can then be drawn up, covering how best to deal with the different types of crises. It’s worth breaking these plans into bullet points for easy understanding, given the panic that may well set in.
The crisis communication plan should include these elements:
- Target audiences
- Easily followable steps to address the crisis
- Means of communicating the handling of the crisis (both internally and externally)
- Preventative measures and methods of minimising the business impacts
There should also be an internal “source of truth”, with key details such as:
- Staff with crisis management and spokesperson responsibilities
- Guidelines on the types of language that should be used
- Expectations as to the updating of information
According to Deloitte, those businesses that have already experienced a crisis say the most important lessons they’ve learned or would approach differently are doing more to identify crisis scenarios (34%), executing a more timely and robust communications plan (29%), and communicating more effectively with employees (29%).
Amplify PR can help with the various elements of crisis communication planning. We can advise on how best to deal with the media and preserve your positive reputation. And our bespoke media training workshops can equip your spokespeople with the skills and confidence to effectively handle print/online, radio, and TV interviews.
Recommended Crisis Communication Strategies
Speed of response will be essential when it comes to containing a crisis and ensuring that it has minimal impact on your reputation. If you’ve spent the suggested time planning then you’ll know which communication channels should be used to share the news with your business stakeholders. You should ensure that such information is entirely accurate, sending out regular updates for reassurance that you are handling the crisis effectively.
The 5 C’s are a handy reference for your crisis communications:
- Concerns – you should identify and focus on the concerns that your staff members and customers are likely to have. Acknowledge these concerns and highlight the ways that they will be handled
- Clarity – your response to the crisis should be clearly communicated, so that everybody is on the same page
- Control – you need to ensure that there is responsibility and control over the flow of your crisis communications
- Confidence – the audience should be assured that you are doing everything within your power to contain and limit the negative impacts
- Competence – make it clear that you have the necessary skills and support to effectively handle the crisis.
You can count on Amplify PR for advice on how best to deal with bad news stories and train spokespersons on how to do media interviews. Steps might also have to be taken to restore your reputation and give your customers reason for continued confidence. Give us a call on 02380 176194 or email firstname.lastname@example.org