A Checklist for an Effective Crisis Communication Plan

A crisis is coming.

I say this not to sound an alarm, but instead to emphasize the importance of being prepared. Regardless of the business you work in or represent, or where you are located, it’s inevitable that your organization will find itself in difficult circumstances requiring thoughtful and decisive action.

And if you don’t have a crisis communication plan with designated strategies, roles, actions and follow-up, you will be hopelessly behind before the trouble starts.

But all of us are ready to tackle a crisis, aren’t we? Maybe not.

Nearly all (95 percent) business leaders from 73 countries in 29 industries said their crisis management capabilities could improve, a recent survey from PWC Research found. It polled 2,800 executives.

A PRNEWS/CS&A International survey found that while a majority (62 percent) of companies said they have crisis communication plans, half either said their plan needed updating or didn’t know if it did.

And a JOTW Communications’ study showed that while 59 percent of communicators say they have a prepared communication strategy, only 45 percent have a crisis communication plan.

We also learned, harshly, during 2020, that events can overtake us with little or no warning. You can have myriad game plans for crises; however, there always will be at least one that comes out of nowhere.

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