4imprint, LLC

Crisis communications in 10 steps
Every once in a while companies are faced with situations that put their reputations at risk or hold the potential to alienate audiences. Left unaddressed or not taken seriously, these situations can put a business … well, out of business.So how does a business respond to such crises in a way that is honest, appropriate and proactive? By implementing a strong crisis communications plan.

Whether your business’s crisis is a natural disaster, a product recall or the theft of customer data, you need to be prepared to disclose crises and address questions from staff, investors, the public and the media. Ideally, a preliminary crisis communications plan has already been created and stored in an identifiable binder in a central location by your communications team. The plan should outline possible scenarios and a plan for communicating to all audiences. That way, in the unfortunate event that your business is faced with an emergency, you will be prepared to handle it and ready to get into action through these ten steps:

  1. As a crisis unfolds, keep in mind that there is always a hierarchy of concern—one that for many is natural but will reinforce credibility with audiences: Be concerned for victims first, employees second, and customers and investors third.
  2. The second a potential crisis rears its head, contact senior level staff and communications personnel immediately.
  3. If the crisis occurs on site, secure the area of the crisis through closed doors or banner roping and gather facts, working cooperatively with authorities.
  4. Work with communications staff or outsourced experts to create a communications command center and designate a spokesperson. Create talking points and key messages, anticipating the questions that will be asked and practicing the responses. Also make sure this command center is armed with multiple phone lines, printers, fax machines, computers with Internet access and fully stocked office materials, like pens that won’t stray far and pads of paper.
  5. Your messaging should communicate your action plan—what are the next steps? What is your business doing to resolve the situation and ensuring that it does not happen again? Ultimately, though, actions speak louder than words—you’ll be expected to follow through with this action plan and questioned if you don’t.
  6. Avoid jargon in your messages. This can work against your messages and key points by creating further confusion. Additionally, don’t speculate in your messages—just stick to the facts and as the facts become available, provide updates.
  7. Be accountable and don’t blame others. It is possible to be accountable without admitting guilt or wrongdoing by simply acknowledging that an event has occurred.
  8. Tell the truth. Because the likelihood is that if you haven’t, someone will find out and you’ll have an even bigger communications disaster on your hands.
  9. Remember that the media is not the bad guy—they can and often will help you get your message out during a crisis or emergency. That being said, there is no such thing as “off the record” and it’s not advisable to argue with reporters or go on the defensive. Perhaps most importantly when dealing with the media, know that silence is not golden, nor is a statement of “no comment.” Not commenting opens the floor to the public filling the void with rumor and speculation and, in many cases, doing so appears to be admission of wrongdoing or apathy. There are of course situations in which you will be legally prohibited from providing a direct comment to a crisis such as a pending lawsuit or legal action—but usually in these situations you should still be able to offer some sort of response.
  10. Use multiple channels to get your message out. Media are often the first to come knocking when word of your emergency or crisis occurs, but keep the message in your control by consistently communicating through multiple channels. Utilize social media such as Twitter™, Facebook or blogs and update your website as the crisis or emergency is dealt with. Many companies have found great success in temporarily turning their home page or adding a specific landing page into an online communications command center. Larger companies also often implement hotlines for those affected by the crisis or emergency to call for information or assistance. For crises with less immediacy, promote this hotline in person and via direct mail with a letter and a memorable item, like a Healing Hand Key Tag for giving a hand or a Puzzle Piece stress ball for putting the pieces back together. Don’t discount the power of personal phone calls or e-mails, either.

When it comes to successfully handling a crisis, preparation is key and so is communication. To learn more about crisis communications and these ten steps, read our Blue Paper® and prepare your business or organization to meet any situation head on.

Better Hearing & Speech Month
Clean Air Month
Creative Beginnings Month
Family Wellness Month
Get Caught Reading Month
Gifts from the Garden Month
Go Fetch! Food Drive for Homeless Animals Month
International Business Image Improvement Month
International Victorious Woman Month
Motorcycle Safety Month
National Barbeque Month
National Bike Month
National Egg Month
National Foster Care Month
National Good Car Keeping Month
National Meditation Month
National Smile Month
Tennis Month
Women’s Health Care Month
National Hamburger Month
National Photo Month
Revise Your Work Schedule Month
Teen Self-Esteem Month
Bread Pudding Recipe Exchange Week: 1-7
Be Kind to Animals Week: 2-8
Drinking Water Week: 2-8
Flexible Work Arrangement Week: 2-8
Kids Win Week: 2-8
Goodwill Industries Week: 3-9
National Family Week: 2-8
National Hug Holiday Week: 2-8
National Pet Week: 2-8
National Wildflower Week: 2-9
Teacher Appreciation Week: 2-8
Work At Home Moms Week: 3-9
National Nurses Day and Week: 3-9
National Police Week: 9-15
National Return To Work Week: 9-15
National Women’s Health Week: 9-15
Reading is Fun Week: 9-15
EMS Week: 17-23
National Safe Boating Week: 22-28
1: Join Hands Day
1: Kentucky Derby
1: May Day
1: National Scrapbooking Day
2: World Laughter Day
3: Garden Meditation Day
3: Lumpy Rug Day
4: National Teacher Day
4: Respect for Chickens Day
4: Star Wars Day
6: No Diet Day
6: No Homework Day
6: Nurses Day
6: National Day of Reason
8: No Socks Day
8: World Red Cross Day
8: Child Care Provider Day
8: National Miniature Golf Day
9: Mother’s Day
11: Eat What You Want Day
12: Donate A Day’s Wages To Charity
12: National Nutty Fudge Day
12: National School Nurses Day
12: Receptionist Day
13: Frog Jumping Day
15: Straw Hat Day
18: Visit Your Relatives Day
19:National Employee Health & Fitness Day
21: National Bike To Work Day
23: National Taffy Day
23: World Turtle Day
25: National Tap Dance Day
30: Hug Your Cat Day
31: Memorial Day

Adopt a Shelter Cat Month
Cancer From the Sun Month
Child Vision Awareness Months
Effective Communications Month
Dairy Alternative Month
Effective Communication Month
Entrepreneurs “Do It Yourself” Marketing Month
Fireworks Safety Month
Great Outdoors Month
Dairy Month
Perennial Gardening Month
Turkey Lovers Month
National Accordion Awareness Month
National Bathroom Reading Month
National Candy Month
National Ice Tea Month
National Safety Month
National Smile Month
National Soul Food Month
Potty Training Awareness Month
Professional Wellness Month
Rebuild Your Life Month
Student Safety Month
Vision Research Month
Women’s Golf Month

International Clothesline Week: 5-12
National Headache Awareness Week: 6-12
National Automotive Service Professional Week: 7-13
National Sun Safety Week: 7-12
Superman Week: 10-13
Nursing Assistants Week: 10-17
National Flag Week: 13-19
Men’s Health Week: 14-20
Universal Father’s Week: 14-20
Carpenter Ant Awareness Week: 20-26
National Mosquito Control Awareness Week: 20-27
Watermelon Seed Spitting Week: 25-28
1: National Go Barefoot Day
2 : Leave the Office Early Day
6: National Cancer Survivors Day
6: Children’s Awareness Memorial Day
7: Daniel Boone Day
8: Upsy Daisy Day
10: Ball Point Pen Day
11: Corn On The Cob Day
12-13: Raggedy Ann & Andy Day
14: Pause For The Pledge Day
14: Family History Day
15: Nature Photography Day
16: Fudge Day
17: Recess At Work Day
18: Work @ Home Father’s Day
19: Garfield The Cat Day
20: Family Awareness Day
20: Father’s Day
21: National Daylight Appreciation Day
21: Summer Solstice
23: Public Service Day
23: Let It Go Day
24: International Fairy Day
24: Celebrate the Senses Day
25: Take Your Dog To Work Day
28: Please Take My Children To Work Day

Check us out on:

twitter FacebookFacebook YouTubeYouTube
Submit your review

Create your own review

Average rating:  
 0 reviews

Hot Products

Shop 4imprint's Hottest Products!

Shop Now

Sale Products

Shop 4imprint's Sale Products!

Shop Now

New Products

Shop 4imprint's Newest Products!

Shop Now

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *