Everything You Need To Know About Corporate Crisis Communication Planning

Life would be so good if emergencies came with a fair amount of warning. There is no need to prepare for them in haste. But that is not the case. The crisis occurs when least expected. And if your organisation waits until the crisis hits to start planning, you will likely fail. Precisely why, crisis communication planning is essential.

What is crisis communication?

It is the dissemination of information by an organisation to address the crisis which impacts the consumers and the organisation’s reputation. Now, reputation happens whether you manage it or not. So, a company should have some input about the incident. Even consumer satisfaction increases with transparency and when expectations are set and managed. While crisis communication is reactive, the crisis communication plan makes the process smoother.

The crisis communication plan focuses on how the company responds and communicates with the stakeholders. These steps make sure information reaches at the same time to the employees, partners, consumers, media, and other valuable stakeholders. Such plans help in the quick release of information as well as consistency of message across platforms.

Now, the message largely depends on the corporate affairs and the parties affected by the same. Any scenario could manifest as a business crisis which warrants communication from the organisation. Some of the common ones are –

  • Financial losses such as bankruptcy or store closure
  • Change of staff which affects operations or reputation of the employee like layoffs
  • An apology for wrongdoing or misconduct owing to organisation practices
  • Any natural crisis which brings about sudden announcements or change of process

The crisis communication planning strategy involves specific steps. They are –

Spokesperson response

When the company makes a mistake, the best thing to do first is apologise and make it appear human. The best thing to do is assign a spokesperson for speaking on behalf of the brand. It is a lot easier to deal with a single person than a group of lawyers. The spokesperson could be your CEO, company executive, and someone you feel is best suited to represent your company. The concerned person must be a good communicator. The actions will influence how the stakeholders react to the scenario.

Proactive damage control

No matter if the things are going well currently, you should always be prepared for crisis. This does not make you a pessimist. It makes you proactive. Proactive damage control is what you need for reducing or preventing the effects of crisis before they happen. Besides, you can ask the employees to remain watchful for harmful emails which might reach their inbox.

Case escalation

Sometimes, the crisis gets resolved at the individual level before they reach the viral tipping point. In such cases, it helps to create an escalation system within your customer service team, who can diffuse the issue before it goes out of hand.

Social media management

This is a great marketing tool and should be part of crisis communication planning. It allows companies to reach the audience globally. But this reach requires two-way communication as consumers can share stories, post pictures, and upload videos for the world to see. One viral video is enough for your company to fall under the wrong light and develop a negative perception about the brand in the audience mind worldwide.

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