How PREPARED are your communicators to respond in a crisis?
Yesterday I got so caught up reading all of the great posts about events and activities surrounding #EPWeek2022 that I forgot to post my own in this space about "Having a Plan!"
So today, I will launch into the second step - to #PREPARE your team. One observation I often take away when working with clients is the "assumption" that their corporate communications team is prepared to support them in a crisis. And well, we all know what happens when we "assume."
So please set your communications team up for success.
They are specialists, and they need specialized training to succeed in this role. They communicate about your incident to your audiences and are the conduit for open and transparent communications throughout your emergency or crisis cycle. Depending on how they perform, they can make you look good (or bad).
If you work in an operational setting and have adopted the ICS model for a response, your communications team needs basic ICS training to understand their role better. They also need Crisis Comms and Information Officer training to differentiate between "everyday" and "crisis" communications and where they fit into the response model.
Ask them how much media experience do they have? Have they ever been on camera for an interview? Do they know how to prepare your spokespersons, and have they ever set up, facilitated, or participated in a news conference? Don't "assume" they have this experience - prepare them by getting them the training they need or sharing what will be expected of them so they can seek it out themselves.
⭐Prepare them for success today so they can put their best foot forward during a crisis event tomorrow.⭐
Shawna Bruce is passionate about Risk and Crisis Communications, Emergency Public Information, and Public Engagement. She delivers crisis, PIO, and media training workshops in-person and virtually.