Into every life, a little rain must fall. When you're a business, a little rain -- a.k.a. crisis -- can mean a big impact to your bottom line. A full-blown crisis can be as devastating as a typhoon with a subsequent tsunami of fall out. A proactive crisis communication plan -- including processes and procedures as well as situation-specific messaging -- is your lifeboat out of potential ruin. Don't be caught without your umbrella.
Identify the Crisis
What's the worst thing you can think of that will happen to your business or organization? Oh Holy Cow ... This is the question that begins the process of the crisis communication plan.
Who Needs to Know?
Who is your audience? General public? Stakeholders? Employees? The media? The messaging should be nuanced for every audience and identified as "proactive" or "reactive."
What Should Be Said by Whom?
For each audience, develop appropriate messaging and who will be delivering that messaging. Gather all emails, phone numbers (including mobile) and make sure all members of the crisis communication team have 24/7/365 access to that document.
Choose a crisis team and spokespersons, create policies and procedures on fact gathering, and ensure your your team members are trained regarding their responsibilities and media. And don't forget your social media during a crisis!