May 19, 2016
/ by Maria Materise
You know crises are inevitable, but did you know that 90 percent of them can be avoided with the proper plan? But most organizations don’t have a plan. Instead, they wait until the last minute to rally support.
Crisis preparation isn’t something that can or should be saved for the last minute. You need to develop a program now that educates and empowers your supporters – or else you risk letting a crisis crush you.
Do you know what it takes to face a crisis? Here are four reasons your organization may not be prepared for a crisis and what you can do to ensure success:
The first step in building grassroots support is to identify potential supporters. Your employees and members are the obvious choices, but there are others who you should consider getting involved, too.
Shareholders, vendors, other groups with similar interests and even customers can be helpful as supporters. The key is to identify those who want to see your organization succeed. They should also be able to inspire action in others.
Keep an open mind when identifying supporters. People or organizations that may not normally support your cause could align with you on certain issues.
If you can’t explain how an issue will directly impact your supporters, they won’t want to get involved.
“Generally, it is difficult to get people interested and involved in something that might happen at some point in the future, unless you can easily explain to them how it impacts them, and preferably who impacts their wallet,” says Mark Reilly, vice president of government relations at Cision.
You need to clearly explain why your potential supporters should care and why they need to take action. This means explaining the issue in a way that makes sense to your audience, especially if the concepts are complex, and shows how the issue is linked to them.
Showing a crises’ impact goes hand in hand with educating your supporters on the issue and on the political process. Start by encouraging voter registration and participation in local campaigns. This will open a door to other issues involving your organization.
You also need to ensure you reach your audience on their preferred platforms. Every communication medium serves a different purpose, and your audience will expect specific types of content for each.
For example, your audience looks for quick tidbits on social, while they want more detail from a press release or blog post. Monitor your content’s success on each channel, and adjust your strategy as needed.
The whole purpose of building support is to get your network to take some sort of action. Make sure your content clearly states what you want your supporters to do. The ask needs to be specific and easily actionable.
With so much content saturating the marketplace, it’s easy for yours to get lost in the shuffle. In fact, human attention spans are now just eight seconds, less than that of a goldfish. You have limited time to grab the attention of your audience so make it count.
Keep things short and to the point. Include a clear call to action and links to make it easy for your audience to give you their support.
Images via Pixabay: 1, 2, 3
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