A crisis communication strategy should focus on message content, logistics, audience response and resources
Crisis communication is an essential part of an organization’s overall communication strategy. Being able to effectively communication with people during an emergency, disaster or crisis can not only save your organization time and money, your efforts can be life-saving. Today’s technological landscape makes crisis communication a lot easier than in the past. Multi-channel mass communication systems are becoming widely used and should be incorporated into your crisis communication strategy. Mass notification systems can help ensure that your messages not only reach a device, but they actually reach a person when the time counts. Sending out timely crisis communication notifications via multiple channels will help you manage an emergency most effectively and efficiently. Below are some key focus areas to help build a robust crisis communication strategy.
Crisis Communication Message Content
The content of a crisis communication message sent out through an emergency mass notification system is of utmost importance. It should be direct, informative and to the point. It should also be factual — during an uncertain event keep rumors and misinformation at bay. Also, keep in mind you crisis communication message content should be informative but craft it in a way to keep panic and alarm at a minimum. Make crisis communication message content creation part of your emergency preparedness plan. You can save time by having message templates ready and saved in your mass notification system for various situations.
The Logistics of Crisis Communication
Luckily, we live in an age where sending messages does not require much manual effort and does not require much time. Before you need to send crisis communication messages, you need to decide the who, what, when, where and how. Appoint multiple people responsible for sending the messages. What will they say? (We touched on that above). Make sure you plan for when crisis communication messages will be sent. You do not want to bombard people with useless information but keep them in the loop so they know information is flowing. From what location will you send crisis communication messages and how? If you are using a mass notification system, you can send crisis communication messages from any internet connected device from a desktop computer to a Smartphone.
Audience Response to Crisis Communication
While it is important that your crisis communication messages contain factual and important information regarding the situation at hand, it is imperative that you communicate to your audience directions for sheltering in place, evacuating or moving to an alternate location. Whatever the action may be, it is critical that you communicate clear instructions for a response. A clear set of instructions sent in a timely manner, especially during a dangerous situation, can become critical life-saving crisis communication messages.
Appropriate Crisis Communication Resources
In an event of a crisis, your most important resource is going to be leadership. You need a few confident and strong employees to provide leadership and crisis communication messages to your organization. Choosing strong leaders, will instill confidence in the rest of your people and will help make emergency procedures go smoothly. In the event of a lockdown or severe weather causing a power outage, make sure your organization has other resources on hand such as bottled water, first aid supplies, non-perishable snacks, blankets and extra batteries or charging devices.
RedFlag is a multi-channel mass notification system that can help any organization distribute crisis communication messages in a simple, effective and convenient way. For more information or if you have questions please call us at 877.840.2444.