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How’s Your Crisis Communications Plan Coming Along? Step Three, Right Here!

March 22, 2013

If you were faced with a crisis tomorrow, who would you call, beyond your newly-selected Crisis Communications team?

Your staff? Your Board? Your lawyer? the police/fire/health departments?

Who do you need to know, and who needs to know you? (Remember, in a natural disaster, fire or explosion, the authorities may be contacting you.)

Step #3:  Determine who you will need to contact in various crises, and gather their contact details – NOW!

Where do you find the people you need to find when you need to find them?

Crises rarely happen during business hours: nine to five, Monday through Friday.  They happen on holiday weekends.  They happen at two o’clock in the morning.  They happen when your key people are halfway around the world.

Therefore, the most important element of any plan is your contact list:

  • Who does what?
  • How and where do I find them (even if the power is out, and it’s Sunday on a holiday weekend)?
  • This list needn’t be 500 pages.  The size will depend on the extent of the team you need to pull together, and the people and organizations you need to notify.

It’s often helpful to establish a “telephone tree” for members of the crisis communications team, too,  specifying who will call who, to inform and gather the team as swiftly as possible.

When you’ve developed your contact list, don’t assume that you can rely on ― or even access ― data residing on your home or office computer.

What if the power is out? What if a tornado or a tsunami has destroyed your office and/or home?

Once we’ve prepared a Crisis Communications Plan for a client, it’s emailed to every member of the team.  A hard copy sits in a slim red binder on their desk, and they will also have a soft-bound copy at home, which accompanies them when they travel.

For a sample Crisis Contact Information Sheet, please email me: Add, but DON’T eliminate any of the fields already there!

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