In part one, I defined the premise of crisis communication. In this part, I will reveal methods to tackle the different phases of crisis communication:
- Identifying your crisis team: Sometimes, organisations can anticipate crises more often than they cannot. The first thing to do is to identify an internal crisis team that will play an integral part in the entire communication process with the external PR agency.
- Your spokesperson(s): Those who face the media post-crisis will form the backbone of the entire communication exercise. They need to be trained and effectively chosen to communicate the good, bad, and ugly in the right manner.
- Monitoring: With the digital age, it has become easier to monitor the news. All systems should be up when it comes to media monitoring and social listening.
- Updating your stakeholders: Stakeholders are extremely important for an organisation. Having a crisis builds anxiety and diminishes faith in the value of the organisation. Ensure that stakeholders are informed and consistently updated on a crisis and the communication around it.
- Holding statements /key messages: A ready statement saves time, is uniform to everyone who must respond to a question on a crisis, and creates a sense of control. This statement may not always work, but having multiple statements tackling potential questions should be on the agenda.
Nasreen Syed is Senior Account Executive at Cicero & Bernay Public Relations, an independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. | www.cbpr.me