Friday, February 11, 2011

Two Tips for your Crisis Communications Plan

Imagine you just finished your crisis communications plan, complete with template news releases for every eventuality. In fact, the last news release you inserted in the plan takes into account the possibility of a flood shutting down one of your company’s production facilities.

Now it’s two weeks later, and a flood actually does shut down one of your company’s production facilities. Do you really think you’re going to use that template, or is it more likely you’ll start from scratch, making sure to include all of the relevant details specific to this situation that you never could have anticipated?

My vote is for the latter, so with that in mind, when you develop your crisis plan, my recommendation is to ditch the templates and focus more on your process for anticipating, evaluating and responding to various types of crises.

Here’s another tip. Don’t keep your plan in a binder or on a single computer, or for that matter in a single facility.

Remember that flood? Imagine if all of the people charged with mounting an effective response to the flood lost the plan because their computers and all of their book shelves are under water.

Best to have the plan accessible from anywhere there is an Internet connection. This is attainable by having off-site company servers “host” the plan. If your firm is too small for such an arrangement, consider just backing up your plan onto an external hard drive that can be stored in multiple locations

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