According to a Nasdaq Public Relations poll* conducted earlier this year, only 50% of marketing professionals say their organization is prepared for a crisis. Among the 50%, almost half said their organizations have no crisis communications plan or are unsure whether they do.
It’s something that none of us want to think about. And, frankly, we have seen far too many images of crisis on the television news this year. But being prepared to properly manage communications on what could be the worst day of your career is far too important to ignore.
Thomas Becher, APR, ndp's Senior Vice President of Strategic Communications states, "The first minutes of a crisis are critical. While there is no one way to respond to a crisis, a quick response is crucial even when you don't know all the facts."
Thomas has developed numerous crisis communications plans and trained many marketing and public relations professionals on how to address and respond to local and national news organizations.
"It all begins with making a list of everything that could go wrong in your organization or workplace," said Becher. "And this is important because too many marketing and PR professionals assume that a crisis will not happen in their organization."
Thomas notes four important steps to take at the beginning of the planning process:
1. Create a crisis communications plan - a living document that needs regular updating
2. Train your team and company
3. Practice the plan
4. Know your local authorities well
Thomas elaborates on these four important points in more detail as well as provides information on how to respond to a crisis and communicating after the crisis in this relevant ebook, "3 Steps to Crisis Communications", that you can download here. This ebook is a great piece on the fundamentals of developing a crisis plan.
For healthcare marketing leaders who may be attending the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development (SHSMD) conference in early September, Thomas will be leading a session titled, "30 Ideas in 30 Minutes: Crisis Tips From The Headlines". That session takes place on Monday, September 12 at 11:45am.
For more information on how to get started with crisis planning, please contact us at 540-815-2478 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Source: PR News and Nasdaq Public Relations Services, March 2016