If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. Now more than ever, it’s evident that a thorough crisis communications plan must include how your organization will manage a major local, national or worldwide event.
While most of these events are out of anyone’s control, PR professionals do have control over the response and action their brands take when an unforeseen event occurs.
We at Cision want to help you take control of your brand during these wholly unique times, so we put together this Managing Your Communications Plan During a Crisis checklist to help manage your comms plan during a crisis.
Here's a preview:
- Review all scheduled social media and paid mediaWhether or not the event directly impacted your organization, previously scheduled social media posts or advertising may not seem insensitive and tone-deaf. Ensure your team knows that when a crisis occurs, isn’t crucial to stop and re-evaluate any scheduled posts or campaigns. Keep in mind there may be opportunity to reschedule some of the content with more appropriate context.
- Review all scheduled emails or newslettersSimilarly, it's crucial your team reviews any email marketing that's been planned. Is the timing of a newsletter now inappropriate, or can your email still be sent with some necessary edits?
- Communicate with leadershipMake sure you immediately connect with leadership to ensure you’re aligned on external and internal messaging. What are the key points you need to get across to your audiences and if a statement is necessary, who will make it? As the crisis unfolds, maintain regular communication with the C-Suite to keep them updated on how the plan is evolving and what's working and what's not.
- Don't underestimate interneal communicationsWhite strong external messaging is crucial to maintain brand loyalty, the importance of internal comms cannot be overlooked. How leadership addresses employees in a crisis, and how soon they do so, can make or break employee trust and loyalty. It's also important to consider that any internal communications may be leaked to the media.