The GroundFloor Media crisis team has been spending time reviewing crisis communication plans for our clients, and we are finding several areas that need updating. For instance, unlike five years ago, most crisis events these days don’t manifest only in the media, so there is a large social media component. Also, response scenarios likely need to be updated as well as key audiences to take into account the likelihood of a crisis happening on social media.
In general, the key theme of a crisis-response plan must be providing clear, honest communications to various audiences that might be impacted by the bad news. The crisis response approach is simple and straightforward, and based on three points:
- Don’t cover up
- Fix the problem
- Apologize and make sure it does not happen again
Here’s an outline of a crisis communications response plan:
- Identify and prepare for potential issues
- Communicate with the customer-service and legal teams
- Get the facts and prepare statements
- This covers traditional and social media
- Respond and correct the record
- Get in front of the story
- “No comment” is a last-ditch response
- Accurately convey your side of the story to all audiences
Find out more about elements of a crisis plan in a Denver Business Journal article I wrote. Also, let us know if your business needs help revising its crisis communication plan.