What is the definition of a crisis? According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, a crisis is “a situation that has reached a critical phase.” This may not be the most optimistic or fun component of any job, but it is crucial. During the Covid-19 Pandemic, we have had to respond to a world that changes every day and pivot businesses in ways many never thought would happen. As we continue to adapt to new ways of operating professionally, there is a very important aspect to take away from this experience. A Crisis Communication Plan is a component of a marketing strategy that is often left out or put aside for another day. Those days should be long gone and here is why:
Top five reasons to implement a CCP
1. How your business handles a crisis will immediately affect your brand perception. Remember the saying, it takes 20 years to build a brand and 5 minutes to destroy one. Don’t let one mistake or misperception be what derails your company's mission.
2. On average, it takes 21 hours to respond to a crisis. During that time period, a lot can happen that can escalate a crisis quickly. Any preparations you can make ahead of time to decrease the response time matters.
3. A CCP allows you to revisit customer service protocol and internal processes throughout the year to be better.
4. Creating a CCP allows you to identify potential threats to your company.
5. You will position your team to be more apt to handle unplanned communication and avoid misrepresentation of your brand.
Creating a CCP checklist
1. Get into the minds of your customers. If you think like your audience, you have a better chance of coming up with preempted situations that may arise. This exercise will allow you to prepare if those comments or questions happen.
2. Create a FAQ document.
3. Review past case studies and evaluate what could have been done differently or what was done well to implement in the future.
4. Identify the team behind the plan. Who will respond?
5. What creative assets do you need?
6. Establish a protocol and timeline for each category.
The purpose of any kind of planning is to be ready for a new situation. In crisis communication planning, we often do not know what exactly we are preparing to manage. That is why it is so important to outline the preferred process to follow, have a team of respondents in place, and identify the tools that will be used to share information when these situations occur. The social media experts at Fourge Social know how to create an effective CCP for your team to execute. Contact us today to navigate this process alongside you.