Insight: Expecting the Unexpected: How to develop a Crisis Communications plan

7th February 2018

A Crisis Communications plan in business is how a business moves forward and begins to recover following a crisis.

When it comes to fast and effective recovery from an emergency situation, preparation is key. Failing to move quickly leaves your business with physical costs, such as loss of assets or property damage, but can also cost you lost business, relationships, and your good reputation.

These costs can be mitigated by having a solid crisis communications plan. Don’t leave it until a situation arises to realise that you need this. Whilst most emergencies won’t attract any public attention, your employees, shareholders and customers will often need to know what has happened, and whether they need to take action.

Have a plan for every eventuality

The term ‘crisis’ can be all-encompassing. It could mean a natural disaster, a cyber-attack, or a terrorism incident - there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. Although it’s not possible to have an individual plan for every possible situation, it’s important to recognise the different actions required for different issues, and to prepare accordingly. 

Identify key contacts

With each type of incident comes a different set of actions required. In the event of a cyber-attack, it’s imperative that your system admins are alerted and that (actions?). Ahead of time, work out exactly who needs to be informed, and the actions they need to take. With Synapse, you can send notifications based on region, job title, access level and more to ensure that the right people are always in the know.

Use real-time information

In a crisis situation, consistent and constant communication is vital. Your management teams need to know exactly what’s going on as it happens to manage the situation effectively. Make sure that your crisis communications plan has the capability to send information quickly and succinctly so that there’s no delay in action. 

Control your message

In some cases, there will be the need to control the information that’s distributed during an emergency. Whether you’re hoping to manage customers, maintain business continuity, or keep away from media attention, you need to be able to communicate with privacy. By using a dedicated platform such as Synapse, you assuage the risk of anybody outside of your communications plan having access to confidential information.  

Test your plan

You need to know that your crisis communications plan will go as smoothly as possible. Just as your physical locations undergo fire drills, make sure that you’ve run your plan through in a controlled environment. Schedule a test, making sure to inform everybody on your plan that there will be a test run, and make sure that the correct messages are sent to the correct people.

The Synapse Communications platform should be an integral part of your crisis communications plan. By using it, you’re able to contact everybody who needs to take action in seconds, using email, push notifications, or toast notifications that go directly to their device.

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