(Maybe it’ll be different in 2014…)
We PR professionals are all guilty of it – pushing off critical aspects of the master crisis communications planning and preparation in order to put out the smaller, daily fires. Whether you’re on the agency side or in-house, we all know what we should get done each year regarding crisis prep.
Maybe in 2014 we finally pull together all of the parts and get really ready to be ready. So, what’s on that list? We’ve compiled a few… any sound familiar?
- Dust off the written plan, re-write it and house it in a cloud, not in a 3-ringed binder gathering dust in a locked file cabinet the key to which has been lost for months.
- Re-assign the “red team” – the first responders to a crisis. C’mon – half of those guys and gals on the last list no longer work at the company!
- Revise the key constituents and audiences list. Social media engagement anyone?
- Update the monitoring criteria to include robust social media alerts.
- Re-do your key messages – the old ones would never survive the social media “warp.”
- List your top ten disastrous potential crises – be more honest this time!
- Hire someone to take a look at your vulnerabilities – if he or she doesn’t tear apart your assumptions and add new horrific potential crises, hire someone who will!
- Identify and then reach out to advocacy groups, influencers and watchdogs.
- Set regular times for someone to interpret the analytics – look for smoke – use analytics to anticipate the next crisis.
- Test the plan, re-test it and test it again. Use real, relevant and researched fact patterns carried out by experts who provide an environment where everyone feels they are actually experiencing a serious crisis.
- Fill the holes in your plan and then go find new ones.
I know, I know – who has the time? But, we’ve got to and 2014 is going to be the year to do it!