How does your organization manage crisis communication? As a crisis progresses, new threats could develop that put your organization, its employees, and other key stakeholders at risk. Without a crisis communication strategy, this event could disrupt your organization’s everyday operations, and cause financial, security, safety, and reputational harm.
According to nationally recognized crisis communication expert Dr. Robert Chandler, there are six stages in every crisis: (1) Warning; (2) Risk Assessment; (3) Response; (4) Management; (5) Resolution; and (6) Recovery. The fourth stage of a crisis, the management stage, requires an organization to examine the progression of a crisis, and whether this critical event moves toward resolution, or worsens as new information about the event becomes available. Communication is vital during this stage, and an organization must find ways to share critical information with affected individuals to ensure their safety.
The management stage requires an organization to closely examine how it communicates with affected individuals. How an organization manages crisis communication impacts its target audience’s response, and determines whether this audience will respond to the situation accordingly. Dr. Chandler offers the following recommendations to manage crisis communication:
1. Use meta-messages. Craft your message carefully before sending it out to your target audience. How your message is phrased, when it’s delivered, and its context are just some of the factors that impact your audience’s response. Consider your audience, and remember the 3-3-30 rule for message construction, before sending your message to ensure that your audience understands how to respond.
2. Leverage two-way communication. Listen to your audience – past crises have shown everyday citizens are resilient and can be your organization’s eyes and ears at the scene. These people can use smartphones and tablets to share on-the-scene photos and videos. Your organization can use these real-time updates to stay informed and deliver timely, accurate information to affected individuals, and improve its crisis response.
3. Utilize social media. Instagram, Twitter, and other social networks are real-time news sources that provide relevant information in a crisis. Use insight from social media to bolster your critical communication strategy.
Control a crisis from start to finish – manage crisis communication to protect your organization and affected individuals. To learn more about the management stage of a crisis, check out this white paper.