There have been countless lessons over the past few months of businesses tackling crisis head on, and many cautionary tales of businesses falling on their faces.
Even so, it’s easy to see why it doesn’t get checked off your to-do list. In the day-to-day hubbub, while you’re just trying to stay afloat, devoting the time to developing a crisis plan might not seem like a priority. Maybe you think you can’t fully craft a plan until you know what you’re facing. Or maybe you don’t even know where to start at all.
But whatever the reason, there are so many more that you should take the time to walk through your crisis communications plan…NOW.
If you don’t have a plan, you’re just reacting. Imagine driving down a dark, curvy road at night. With your headlights on, you can only see a few feet in front of you. You don’t know what’s lurking up ahead. Now turn on the brights. Suddenly, you can see a lot more.
Crisis happens fast. Having a plan means you can see further up the road. Without one, you’re just reacting to whatever pops up.
Social media means crisis is even faster. With so many different platforms, social media can mean you feel a crisis even more. You have a more direct platform to communicate with your guests or customers, and they have a more direct platform to communicate with you. If you don’t have a plan, the chatter on social media can be deafening…and devastating.
Having a plan forces you to define your brand. As you craft a crisis communications plan, you’re going to have to further evaluate who you are as a company. What do you value? What is your brand voice, and what do you say with it? Any time you look internally—to determine your best-selling products, to identify sales opportunities, to find new verticals, to form new positions—you strengthen your company because you can more clearly articulate these things.
You show employees you care. Just like when you put new HR policies in place, having a crisis communications plan helps your employees. It shows that you take your company seriously and value what you’re building together. It shows that you care about concerns and are the kind of company that works proactively to protect staff.
You show your customers you care. No one likes to deal with a crisis, but when you do—and when you’re prepared—you show your customers how seriously you take your brand. You show you are taking action, and you show you value their trust in you.
Have we convinced you?
Getting started doesn’t have to be intimidating. First, take some time to brainstorm a variety of situations your company might face. Think about how you might handle those situations. What might you say (or not say) and what platforms might you use to spread (or monitor) that message?
Next, designate a crisis team with a point person or spokesperson. This might also be a great time to engage an agency (hi!). Together, come up with an action plan. You might even start to draft some communications that can be quickly and easily customized and deployed.
Still need a little help? Wellons Communications has helped clients weather all kinds of storms. We’ve been helping clients prepare for more than a decade, and we’d be happy to lend a third-party perspective to your business.
Give us a call at (407) 462-2718 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.