Does your office or place of employment have a crisis communication plan?
If you aren’t sure, then it’s likely the crisis communication plan hasn’t been relayed to the team. This can result in casualties and the mismanagement of information if a crisis occurs.
The crisis communication plan will help keep panic at bay and navigate the crisis with as little damage as possible.
In this article, we’ll discuss what a crisis entails and a few reasons why a crisis communication plan is a must for your business.
What is a Crisis?
While this may seem like a straightforward answer, you might find yourself struggling to narrow it down.
In 2018, there were 340 mass shootings in the United States. You may think that this is the only type of crisis you’ll need to prepare for due to the media surrounding the issue.
It is true that you’ll need a plan if an active shooter enters your facility, but that isn’t the only crisis you may face.
Other crises you may find yourself dealing with include natural disasters and fires. Depending on where you work, there may be extra precautions due to the chemicals or equipment you use. Your building may also be at more of a risk for a terrorist attack or other targeted attacks.
In all scenarios, you need a crisis communication plan.
1. Minimize Chaos During a Crisis Event
If a crisis does occur, it is important that your employees are prepared and know exactly what to do depending on the situation.
With a communication plan in place, it will eliminate guesswork and general panic during the crisis. The last thing you want is employees running around without a clue where to go, as every minute counts during an emergency.
A crisis communication plan will make it easier for your employees to know exactly what to do and where to go. Simply knowing that can reduce panic and increase the number of people who will get out of the building safely.
You can also establish a protocol for posting on social media about the crisis before it happens.
3. Easier Communication with Staff Family Members
With a crisis communication plan in place, you won’t need to run around trying to find information about everyone‘s relatives and whom to call.
After a crisis, especially if news of it broke before you were able to contact family members of staff members, you’ll likely be flooded with phone calls from family members or friends looking for their loved ones.
A crisis communication plan gives you an easy way to field communication so that it doesn’t lead to one person trying to field 200 calls at a time. This can be done through a contact hierarchy, sending out a notification to everyone at once or calling people directly.
The contact information for family members and loved ones should not only be stored in one location. Instead, it should be stored digitally, where you can access the information regardless of what’s been destroyed in the office.
One of the biggest mistakes offices make is keeping all of the emergency information stored in each employees’ file and never transferring it. This may lead to the information being destroyed during a crisis. In the case of something like an active shooter, you may be unable to access the files inside the building, even though they’re still intact.
4. Communicate with Stakeholders and Suppliers
Stakeholders and suppliers will be very interested to know what the next step is in regard to how long it will take for the business to be up and running as normal. Will they need to halt the contract? How will this affect the stake they have in the company?
These are both very important questions and you’ll need the be prepared to answer them when asked. Having a plan of action to communicate with these groups is essential, as they are the heart and soul of many businesses.
In addition to stakeholders and suppliers, you’ll need a plan of how to communicate with customers, if your business has them. This way, they’ll know if there will be an interruption of the products and how long this might be.
5. Prevent the Issue from Happening Again
The key final step in a crisis communication plan is ensuring the crisis doesn’t happen again.
This one of the most important actions and you’ll need to communicate this with employees, customers, and stakeholders. What will your company now do differently to avoid another similar event in the future?
Identify where you went wrong and how you will fix it as a company.
The Importance of a Crisis Communication Plan
A crisis communication plan operates in three steps: what to do during a crisis, how to communicate to outsiders during the crisis, and how to prevent it from reoccurring.
Are you in Texas and looking for mobile command centers or climate controlled air shelters to prepare you for when disaster strikes?
Having a plan in place is key to ensuring your business has a future beyond the crisis it has endured.
Contact us here to ensure you’re prepared.