We help our clients plan for crises before they hit so that they can minimize the impact, when and if that time ever comes. We conduct a thorough vulnerability assessment, develop an array of likely problems and responses, identify and list key audiences, create a crisis team, train everyone via crisis exercises and fine tune our plan.
IF a crisis arises, we do everything we can to help our clients — those we’ve worked with and have a plan in place for, and those who come to us with nothing — weather the storm.
During the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, we’re helping our clients – from a national student-housing developer to biomedical company to an art school and others – develop and share key information, address internal policies, and much more.
Key elements of a good crisis-management plan:
- Identify and develop a list of key audiences / constituents;
- Create a list of possible internal vulnerabilities and external threats (crisis scenarios);
- Think through how each of these could play out, noting:
- Which audience groups would be impacted
- How your organization is positioned to address each
- What steps you need to take to fortify vulnerabilities NOW
- Develop key messaging to address each possible scenario;
- Create a crisis team (top management, on-the-ground staff, an external communications partner, others);
- Create a list of all relevant media contacts (if you don’t already have this);
- Build a chart outlining what happens the minute a crisis breaks, indicating the chain of communications and command, timing, etc.;
- Communicate to all staff your protocol for handling media inquiries; and
Ideally, your team should practice running through a few possible crisis scenarios. Carefully review how it went, where you may have fallen short (as a team, specific individuals, your timing, messaging, etc.). Refine your plan, messaging and other relevant elements.
The pillars of good crisis management / response involve:
- Being candid and honest;
- Communicating frequently with key audiences;
- Trying to fix what’s broken or went wrong (making people, processes, etc. as whole as possible);
- Apologizing and asking for forgiveness / an opportunity to make it right (granted the crisis is in part due to your organization’s actions, lack of, etc.);
- Announcing new policies, procedures, etc. to help ensure people that you’re taking smart steps to minimize any downside of a future, similar (or other) crisis;