Is your company ready to successfully manage a crisis? Most companies in Malta aren’t.
A crisis can hit any type of organization, be it private or governmental. When a crisis concerning your organization occurs, you have to be ready to react swiftly, in order to contain the damages that negative media exposure can cause. In the internet era, news travels fast, hence your response must be equally fast.
It is therefore necessary to devise a specific communication plan which can be put into action should a crisis occur.
How do you define a crisis? Crises differ according to the type of organization. If you are involved in managing clients’ sensitive information, the accidental and unauthorized divulgation of these, can have serious repercussions on your company’s credibility.
If you operate a factory, an injury or fatality among your employees, could raise questions about health and safety policies and damage your company’s public image.
But how can you develop a crisis communication plan? These are some essential steps to follow when devising your plan:
– Vulnerability assessment: first of all establish the compartments of your organization where things can go wrong and write down a list including all the accidents which are likely to happen;
– Establishment of SOPs: establish Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to be initialized in case of a crisis. Key figures in the organization must be notified about the incident, as well as the employees and stakeholders. Feed information to the media before they obtain it from unauthorized sources, in order to be able to exert greater control on the news which will be divulged to the public;
– Preparation of templates: go through the previously prepared list of incidents and write down what you would say or do in case the events happen. Then have these templates approved by high ranking officials in your organization as this would help you save precious time should a crisis occur;
– Plan rehearsal: rehearse your crisis response plan and make sure that your organization’s spokesperson is adequately trained in public speaking.
Few things in corporate communications are more essential, yet receive less consideration than the crisis communications plan. Make sure you have one and remember: not planning means asking for a disaster.