The goal of crisis communications planning is to adapt effectively to threatening and sudden developments as quickly as possible. Here are some questions to consider when thinking of crisis communications:
- Do you have a crisis communications plan? If yes, does it include an action plan for a widespread health emergency?
- Who are your most important stakeholders? Arguably, employees are your most important audience, followed by customers (however they are defined), vendors, investors/funding sources and other business partners.
- Employees are most concerned about their own health and that of their loved ones. Are you providing the information they need on how they can protect themselves and their families?
- Do you need to update/create/implement policies regarding working remotely, business travel, conferences and meetings, supply chain continuity, and other concerns?
- Do you have an intranet, mass communication platform or other highly effective means of communicating quickly with your entire employee base? Are your contacts updated?
- What do your communications strategies need to address? Ideally, communications are addressing the actions you are taking to create awareness, protect people, instill confidence, build trust and enhance credibility.
- Who is responsible for communicating to each audience? What is the best vehicle to reach each audience quickly and effectively? How are you keeping leadership updated?
- Key messages, talking points and Q&A should be prepared, approved and placed in the hands of all those who are responsible for communicating with various stakeholders.
If you consider these questions thoughtfully, you will be in a better position to respond agilely to the volatile challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
For more information about crisis communications, contact Darren Richards at firstname.lastname@example.org.