Crisis Communication Plan

Crisis communication planCrisis Communication is one of the important aspects of Public Relations that aims to safeguard companies from suffering from a tarnished image in the market. It is cautiously-designed to protect organisations against dangers hovering around their reputation.

Crisis Communication plan is a framework that comprises various options that organisations might take into account while handling a crisis situation. The word crisis refers to any situation that hampers the goodwill of a company in the eyes of the public. If the crises are not tackled on time, they can result in the spread of negative image among its stakeholders, the media and the public, affecting the growth trajectory of the company immensely.

It is important that companies have a crisis communication plan in place to deal with the crisis judiciously. A good crisis communication plan helps firms in maintaining transparency, disseminating honest information in the market and reinforcing the company’s positive image.

Successful Plan of Action

For the plan of action to be successful, it is important that a specialised team be dedicated for tackling any kind of crisis. Comprising Chief Executive Officer, Senior Manager, Vice President etc, the team aims to address the reputation issues of the organisation with experienced personnel at hand. The main objective of the team is to rebuild the credibility, integrity and trustworthiness of the company among its target audience.   An eloquent and seasoned person should be assigned as the spokesperson of the company, to represent the company in the time of a crisis. It is the duty of the spokesperson to communicate with the media logically and assertively, such that the intended message is properly understood by the media fraternity.

Press Releases are made by the team keeping in mind the intensity of the situation. The press releases should contain honest information combined with the effort to showcase the positive aspects of the company. The press releases are then disseminated to the media. The complicated crisis should be explained in a simple way in the news releases in order to avoid misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the subject.

Through the releases, organisations should ensure that effective communication takes place between the company and its various stakeholders like employees, customers, society, community, dwelling in widely-scattered geographical areas.

Other stakeholders include government, analysts, media and various other industries. All these stakeholders are essential parts of any organisation, hence it’s crucial to communicate effectively with them, especially those who had to face the brunt of the crisis.

Crisis Communication Strategy

An effective crisis communication strategy, to monitor the crisis communication plan is also fruitful while dealing with a crisis situation.  The strategy manages the various phases of a crisis. The pre-crisis, post-crisis and mid-crisis situations are best dealt with if a meticulously-designed strategy is in place. The strategy should be carefully made before the crisis appears.

During the crisis, swift and speedy communication is of prime importance to divert the situation and prevent it from turning into a corporate catastrophe.  Internal and external communications and monitoring of sensitive news about the company can help tremendously in the situation. Post-crisis is the time when companies need to analyse and assess the crisis in detail so as to avoid such unwanted situations from occurring in the future. This time is of paramount importance as it helps companies understand how the crisis got cultivated and the factors that triggered it further.

Hence, it’s important that during this time, companies inspire their employees, appreciate them for their remarkable performance during the crunch-time and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the company.

Crises are an indispensable part of the corporate graph of any company. There are good times when companies witness significant growth but there are also times when unwanted threats pose daunting challenges for organisations. A Public Relations Company assists firms in being pro-active, thus preventing the crises from doing substantial harm to organisations. With an effective crisis communication strategy and plan in place, an enterprise can survive even the worst of the worst situations.

What is Crisis Communication and what is its need?

about crisis communicationCrisis Communication is an aspect of Public Relations that is carefully-designed to shield companies whose reputation is at stake. It protects individuals, companies and organisations against the unwanted threats that might hamper their goodwill in the market. This blog post gives an in-depth explanation about ‘What is Crisis Communication’. Crisis communication is engineered to wrestle with crises and reduce their impact on the company and its public image. It is both preventive as well as predictive in nature as it foresees threats that might appear in the future. It is adept at lessening the damage caused to the organisation and averting an event from becoming a crisis.

Effective Crisis Communication

A properly planned crisis communication involves creating strategies and taking initiatives to lower the impact of a crisis and to replenish the brand image of the organisation. Besides this, it also helps in preparing companies in advance to confront any kind of corporate mess by developing real-time sombre situations that keep organisations on their toes.

Positive brand image is one of the most cherished assets of an organisation. Hence companies embrace crisis communication to ward off unwanted challenges and save their reputation from getting tarnished and maintain their credibility in the market. It tackles negative-earned media with great precision and finesse.

An effective crisis communication includes disseminating true and honest information to the public, responding swiftly to a situation, taking responsibility of a situation and taking quick decisions to deal with the problem. The trinity of knowledge, quick response and ownership of the situation makes for a perfect crisis communication strategy that wipes out the detrimental impacts of a crisis to a great extent.

Need of Crisis Communication Management

Crisis Communications Management is a meticulously-engineered procedure to reduce or avert the repercussions of a crisis on the company and its stakeholders. It is one of the most essential functions of a company.

It involves three phases namely, Pre-crisis, Crisis-response and Post-crisis.

  • The Pre-crisis is directed at Prevention and Preparation for any crisis.
  • The Crisis-response is the stage when the company reacts to a crunch.
  • Lastly, the phase of Post-crisis searches for new ways to prepare for any crisis happening in the future.

For an effective management, companies have to adhere to a Crisis Management plan (CMP) that comprises crucial contact information, reminders of the steps to be taken in a crisis and how to document the crisis response. It saves a considerable amount of time and makes the management much easier by pre-collecting information and pre-assigning tasks. This way it acts as a reference while managing a crisis.

The need of Crisis communication management cannot be neglected by companies as the same might lead to a catastrophic situation, eventually harming organisations and their stakeholders.

A highly-skilled management team is of paramount importance for dealing with any kind of imbroglio. A team how much ever knowledgeable it may be, is not valuable unless and until it is put to a test that confirms its ability to tackle a crisis.

There is one more thing related to crisis i.e. Crisis Response which refers to the reaction of the organisation after the crisis hits the company. This is where a Public Relations Agency plays a key role in managing crisis by sending out positive messages about the company to the public. Crisis usually results in an information gap being created which can be filled by disseminating positive messages to the media.

The organisations that are the victim of a disastrous situation, should speak to the media urgently or else other entities might spread unreliable and inaccurate information to the media. Hence it is important that the crisis managers respond quickly to the media to avoid succumbing to the trap.

Public Relations Professionals are a vital part of a Crisis management team as they are the ones who monitor the kind of information that is being sent to the media. In a nutshell, Crisis Management is integral to the proper functioning of an organisation as without this in place, companies cannot survive the fierce competition in the market.

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