If you have been following this series, now is where the rubber meets the road. Let us say you have your crisis plan in place. You have put your crisis team together, they have formulated a plan and they are familiar with all the possible crisis scenarios. The process does not end there.
Amme (1999) advises that once the team formulates a crisis communication plan the owner needs to endorse and support the team and the plan. Amme (1999) says, “When the crisis occurs the team has been given the go-ahead to act swiftly.
Establish good crisis principles. The order of priority is:
- Take care of the most affected;
- Brief the employees;
- Brief the media;
- Reassure the public and customers their best interest is paramount;
- Remain open and accessible;
- Provide information as fast as possible;
- Keep no secrets from the public. Your team spokesperson should communicate responsiveness, openness, concern, respect, cooperation, responsibility, sensitivity, integrity, and compassion.
Some sources recommend running a mock crisis. Then the crisis communication plan may be evaluated for effectiveness. Your plan can be studied, and offers the opportunity to discover any vulnerability. At this point your plan may be adjusted. Your team should meet quarterly, drill annually, review the plan twice a year, and keep your plan current (Amme 1999).
John W Redmon, Jr., president of The Redmon Group says, “Crisis management produces crisis planning, which begets crisis preparation. And if one is lucky, it can also produce crisis prevention.” (Gilpatrick 1999).
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