by Nikki Devereux, Director of Account Management
In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, we have the perfect illustration of why it’s a good idea to have a crisis communication plan in place for your company—large or small. You probably have many stakeholders who are wondering what will happen as this crisis unfolds, from customers to vendors to employees. It’s best to be prepared with a strategy of how, when and what to communicate before a crisis occurs.
If you haven’t put a crisis communication plan in place, now is a good time to consider what steps are needed during times like this. Below is a list of things to consider.
- What type of crisis is it? Here in Florida, many companies are prepared for hurricane emergencies, especially after Hurricane Irma gave us all a scare a couple years ago. But this COVID-19 pandemic shows that we need to prepare for other types of crises, as well.
- Who are the audiences? Identify the audiences that you need to communicate with. You will need to create messages to communicate with each audience, and perhaps a general message for your website and social media.
- When to communicate? You’ll need to decide a timeline for your communications ahead of time and keep a calendar of these to stay organized.
- Where to communicate? Outline your communication channels to provide different messaging for different channels. Examples are social media, website, and email, but you may have several others to consider depending on your organization.
- Who is on the team? Deciding who is part of the communication team well before a crisis occurs will help you mobilize to respond more quickly and effectively.
- What is the message? Developing some sample messaging ahead of time will help you get started more quickly, as opposed to developing all messaging at the onset of the crisis.
You’ll notice that many companies have begun emailing you about the pandemic, placing COVID-19 messaging on their websites, and communicating through various channels about how this crisis is affecting their business and ability to serve you. These are good examples of crisis communication. Some companies are more organized than others and this can be very evident in the communications you receive. Make sure to prepare ahead of time!
Pinstripe Marketing has developed comprehensive crisis communication plans for companies large and small. Contact us if you need assistance with creating your crisis communication plan.