While running a huge business, one must always be ready for any kind of unpredictable event that can cause huge damage if not handled on time. This is called a business crisis. Every company must be ready for the public relations crisis data breach, failure of a marketing plan, failed events, damaging reviews, administrative scandal, etc. This is known as a PR crisis. After hitting by the PR crisis, one must be ready with a plan of action for protecting the reputation of the brand. This plan is known as a crisis communication plan.

The business crisis is always a surprise element for any organization. In the growing world of social media, the negative comments, humiliation, damaged publicity can go viral within a second. To stop this PR agency must always be ready with a plan and a team of skilled people to handle the situation.

Not Every Issue is a Crisis

It is very important to distinguish between the normal situation and the crisis. You need to ask yourself before making any decision.

  • Can this issue affect the workflow of the company?
  • Can it affect the bottom line and disrupt it?
  • Can it affect the reputation of our brand?

Crisis Communication Plan Fundamentals

To start with the plan, one must be ready with documentation that can be easily understood by the people. The document will contain detailed information about the critical issues with all the supporting information. The PR professionals must add these elements while preparing any crisis communication plan:

  1. The copy of the detailed plan must be prepared underlining the key points like the purpose of the plan, the criteria for activating the plan and the person responsible for executing it, mention communication tools to be used and who will use them to carry out the plan.
  2. A dedicated team for crisis communication must be there that is responsible for collecting, creating, and distributing important messages to the media and working with them.
  3. Distribute the work among the team members and assign their roles like one or more spokespersons if required, one member for media calls, a team member who will handle internal communication, a backup for each role, etc. It is important to include basic information about all the team members like their contact address and contact number.
  4. While preparing for any kind of crisis, one must be ready for all the possible questions asked by the media in a particular situation along with the set of answers. It is a good practice to develop key messages like:
    1. The cause of the crisis must be identified.
    1. A timetable for plans must be provided.
    1. Provide all the information about what has happened.
    1. If there is any victim of the crisis, communicate empathy for them.
    1. Provide all the necessary instructions for the protection.
  5. Internal communication is very important in such a crisis. One must always plan about the mode of communication of the key messages to the staff. It could be through internal meetings, emails, voicemails, or through any other means.