Essential Elements of a Crisis Communication Plan
Crisis Communication Plans vary in complexity, but here are the essential elements every organization should compile in order to be prepared for a crisis.
List of members of the Crisis Communication Team and complete contact information - including after hours.
A clear delegation of responsibilities for each member of the team - including back ups.
Clear protocols and procedures for activating the Crisis Communication Team and approving communications.
Guidelines for working with the media during a crisis, including a clearly defined media policy and designated spokesperson(s) and support.
Lists of critical stakeholders and databases with their contact information and guidelines for outreach.
Pre-established notification system(s) and instructions for activation.
Policies and procedures for the front office staff on how to handle media calls and visits.
Pre-approved messages for crisis scenarios and templates for letters, statements to the media and other communication tools for each scenario.
Guidelines for the use of social media and/or a dark website containing executive bios, fact sheets, maps/directions to facilities, high-resolution photos and logos, Material Safety Data Sheets, etc.
After-hours contact information for local media - Crises rarely happen during business hours, and the local media will continue to cover your organization long after CNN leaves.
Other useful information, including instructions and passwords for social media platforms anb 24/7 contact information for outside resources.
When your organization is threatened, you need a specialist. A crisis management specialist.