By Gerard Braud, CSP, Fellow IEC
Here we are at the beginning of a new year. It’s that time of year where people make New Year’s Resolutions… most of which they abandon before the month is over.
What if instead of resolutions you selected continuity? And what if the goal you set was to protect your organization’s revenue, reputation, and brand? And what if you allowed me the honor of being your accountability partner this year?
Why Not Resolutions?
Resolutions are indicative of one year ending and another beginning. Resolutions personify stop, start, stop, start.
Continuity, on the other hand, represents the setting of goals and standards, such as continuous improvement.
When I first conceived the idea of “The 5 Steps to Effective Crisis Communications,” my purpose was to help organizations, and the people in those organizations, set a course for constantly being prepared.
If a situation rises to the level of a crisis, then you and your organization are prepared to protect your revenue, reputation, and brand through effective communications with the media, your employees, your customers, your community, social media, and all of your stakeholders. If you are blessed enough to make it through the day, the week, or the year without a situation, good for you for being fortunate… but you can rest knowing you are prepared.
Five Steps to Effective Crisis Communications:
- Assessing your Vulnerabilities – not once, but all throughout the year.
- Writing your Crisis Communications Plan – not just writing it, but working constantly to make it a living document that changes as communications and trends change.
- Having a Library of Pre-Written News Releases – and constantly adding to that library as new vulnerabilities are discovered over time.
- Annual Media Training – Yes, not just once in life, but at least once a year. Media training is not a bucket list item, but rather a skill set that requires regular practice. In addition to one major training a year, you must practice before EVERY interview.
- Crisis Communications Drills – Like Media Training, drill at least once a year. Make it hard and real, hold tough news conferences. Bombard the drill with mock social media noise.
In the next few weeks, I’m going to dig deeper into each of the Five Steps to Effective Crisis Communications. When you follow the five steps you are continuously taking steps to protect your organization’s revenue, reputation and brand.
Crisis communications and media training expert Gerard Braud, CSP, Fellow IEC is based in New Orleans. Organizations on five continents have relied on him to write their crisis communications plans and to train their spokespeople. He is the author of “Don’t Talk to the Media Until…”
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