When a crisis arises, the communications team should follow the plan and first understand the situation, develop the messages and identify the appropriate messenger or messengers. One way to ensure everyone on the communications team is able to stay on the same page, Cision the global communications and public relations company offers a practical 10-point Crisis Communications checklist to use in support of your plan:
- Reassess the situation. If your messaging has worked, great, more likely you will need to fine tune the messaging or add more context to your communications in order to stay ahead of and maintain control of the narrative
- Deliver the messages, send out press releases, emails or social media posts, or press briefings as dictated by the situation
- Identify your spokesperson(s). Does the CEO need to be the messenger or are other personnel better suited to the situation?
- Alert senior executives and legal consultants
- Recognize the developing crisis and gather your communications team and make the chain of command and channels of communication clear
- Analyze the situation, define the problems, causes and fixes
- Develop your messaging, and talking points
- Assign media monitoring to appropriate communications team members to cover print, social and online media
- Monitor media coverage and be ready to respond quickly to your audiences’ reactions
- Perform a postmortem, analyze what you did well and what needs improvement and update your crisis communications plan.
Download the Crisis Communications Plan Checklist Here..