Crisis management is an essential organisational function. Most companies face a crisis one day. In such cases, it is necessary to act quickly and effectively. Failure to react is the worst-case scenario. But how do you effectively manage this type of communication? Which content and especially which channel to use? Here are 7 tips on how best to manage this type of case.
First, what is crisis communication?
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, crisis management are « the actions that are taken to deal with an emergency or difficult situation in an organised way. »
A crisis occurs when a significant threat can have a significant impact on an organisation, its stakeholders or its reputation. The crisis can impact on a variety of areas such as financial losses, public safety or an organisation’s overall reputation. In most cases, a crisis disrupts the balance of an organisation at several levels, making it important to manage it quickly.
1. The importance of being prepared
In order to avoid rushing into a crisis situation because you are not ready to manage it, it is best to anticipate potential scenarios and establish internal protocols to manage them. If you don’t prepare for different crises and don’t know how to communicate during them, you risk causing more damage to the company.
2. Prepare a crisis Management Plan
Do not hesitate to set up a crisis management plan (CMP). In the CMP can be a list containing all your contacts and their relevant data, the necessary documentation and reminders of what should be done in times of crisis etc.
3. Anticipate Model Messages
It may also be useful to prepare draft messages or templates. Writing crisis messages in advance will allow you to save time and to communicate effectively to each target (intranet, press, …). All you have to do is fill in the blanks with key information!
4. Analyse and understand situation
Sometimes it can be complex to communicate in a crisis situation when you don’t know the situation well. If you are asked to communicate but you are still analysing the situation, just tell the truth but above all, answer and communicate! As soon as you are more informed on the subject, communicate all the relevant details to the key stakeholders.
5. Stay human
In such situations, remember that each person reacts differently. It is important to listen to each side and communicate in an informed manner. It is important to say that you are also concerned and affected by the situation and that you are working to manage the situation as well as possible.
6. Use the right communication channels
There are many different communication channels such as intranet, social networks, company website (either as a separate domain or as part of the main company site), conference calls or press releases and interaction with the media etc. But the most successful systems are still mass notification systems (e-mails, texts, etc.)
With an impressive opening rate (97%), very high deliverability and incomparable speed of delivery, SMS is the fastest and most effective way to reach your target. You cannot afford to use an inefficient channel for an urgent communication. In fact, many of our clients use our crisis communication solutions for their business.
The possibility of creating a tailor-made crisis communication product adapted to the needs of your industry is also an option.
7. Plan a post-crisis phase
Once the crisis has passed, follow-up communication is important and necessary. It is important to issue various updates on the recovery process, the consequences of the crisis and various post-crisis measures. For this type of communication, intranets are an excellent way to keep employees informed or special access on the website, for example.
Today, all organisations must be able to manage crisis communication. As mentioned above, many tools exist to support companies in this type of events. A good crisis management allows a company or organisation to limit the damage and the consequences and even to come out of it stronger.
RingRing regularly assists private owned companies, but also governmental institutions and even supranational institutions in their crisis management. Do not hesitate to read our customer case for the Belgian’s Federal Public Service of Foreign Affairs to see what we have set up for their crisis communication.