Crisis communication begins with a notification...so don't miss it!
Organizations often forget that crisis communication begins with a notification. Ironically, it is where most training drills fail...within the first five minutes. It is important, therefore, to ensure your notification process is well thought-out and comprehensive. This means incorporating back-up plans for if/when your primary notification medium fails (e.g. phone call). Moreover, the communication message should be clear, concise and follow a standardized guideline (e.g. OSHA reporting standards). Otherwise, your organization risks miscommunication both internally and externally.
Getting the ball rolling: activating your crisis team / key internal stakeholders (e.g. CEO) is the most crucial step in crisis communication. The moment will determine the success of your crisis communication plan and prevailing reputation. Fail to activate your crisis team / key stakeholders and you risk an (1) inaccurate and late organizational statement(s), an (2) incapable and ill-prepared media responder(s), and an (3) inhibited and unaware crisis team. That singular event – ensuring the notification reception – must be the cornerstone of your crisis communication plan.
Process vs infrastructure: your process may be “perfect” on paper, but rarely meets expectations in practice. For example, a global chemical manufacturing organization created a robust crisis communication plan fully integrated with each facility’s incident response procedure. The process was perfect…so they thought. In fact, the initial step to activate their crisis team using a call service failed instantly. During a training drill, the incident response protocol was to contact the call service to initiate the crisis team. Unfortunately, that never happened. The call service contacted a workable, but unmanned front-desk phone. The message it left never reached the crisis team and the drill failed. Your process matters…but your infrastructure will determine if that process ever gets off the ground.
At CrisisDriver, we start with the infrastructure and then with the help of Reputation Management LLC move to your process – a true incident response solution. An administrative portal manages the CrisisDriver mobile application. Here you customize everything from site locations to notification contact groups. Alert distribution is not only a breeze but also its full proof. Add as many, or little approved notification recipients based on multiple criteria to your system…there is no limit! Each recipient receives four unique notifications to ensure reception: text message, push notification, email, and a phone call (i.e. automated voice messaging). With so much at stake, you cannot afford to miss that call!