10 items that make a good Crisis Communication plan

14 Oct


In my search through Crisis Communication blogs I must thank Melissa Agnes for her user-friendly blog that has linked me to so many other wonderful Crisis blogs and professionals.  This post is a summary of a post I read on CKSyme.org recently and wanted to share with my colleagues and peers.
Oftentimes the idea of a Crisis Communication plan is a little daunting, unless you hire some outside consultant it’s hard for the general public (even someone who’s familiar with the organization) to delve into the deep end of Crisis planning.  I think that by nature we try to avoid the idea of Crisis at all costs- in planning for it the superstitious amongst us may think it will then happen.  This 10 item list is the bare bones of what makes a good Crisis Communication plan for any business, company or organization:

  1. Current SWOT or risk analysis
  2. General organizational communications crisis plan. Social media is only one part of your communications plan. Be sure you have a general strategy document that covers all communication channels, online and offline. This document houses your main message points.
  3. Current staff and organizational flow chart that shows chain of command in a crisis.
  4. Key stakeholder groups prioritized and segmented for content. Who will you communicate with, what will you share, in what order, and when?
  5. Command center logistics/operations for onsite and offsite.
  6. Designated on-site and off-site spokespeople for communications and operations. Include a media training component.
  7. Social media policy that includes triage response. We will delve into the specifics of this component in the next post.
  8. Guidelines and schedules for training, table top exercises, and post-crisis evaluation.
  9. Inventory of all communication channels and how they will be used including signage, website, internal communications, and any other touch points the organization has including social media channels. This sections may include “holding messages” for different channels.
  10. Appendix of all forms, logs, and templates.

Really a Crisis Communication plan is about organizing all of the important information into one place so it is easily accessible.  The plan needs to be organized in a functional user-friendly way so everyone from an Administrative Assistant to the CEO knows what procedure is next.
Do you think there is anything missing from this Crisis Communication list?


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