Join Laura Bergells for an in-depth discussion in this video Reviewing your crisis communication response, part of Crisis Communication.
- After the crisis is over, you'll want to review the actions and results of your communication response. By looking at your team's actions, you can discover what worked well, what didn't, and how you can improve your response in the event of another crisis. In a Crisis-Communication Review, you'll reconvene the crisis team to gather and analyze the following information. First, you'll note the exact time your team leader first learned of the crisis, and when the crisis team convened. This information gives you insights on how quickly you can begin to work together.
Second, note what initially alerted your team to the crisis. Was it a spike in online mentions? Or did your switchboard become suddenly overrun with phone calls? Did someone pull a fire alarm? Or, did you see the report on TV? Understanding these basic facts can help you learn how quickly crisis information starts and spreads. Third, gather all of the messages your team generated surrounding the crisis, noting the time and date of each message.
Emails, letters, online posts, videos. You might need copies of your responses for legal reasons, but, you can also learn by analyzing the tone and content of these messages, as well as the timing of the release. Fourth, assemble and analyze the inbound communication you received. Note how the public responded, not only to the initial event, but to your own outbound messaging. Did what you say increase public outrage, or help calm things down? Did members of the public come to your defense? How can you increase public advocacy during future crises? Fifth, have a work team not closely associated with the crisis response review the collected materials.
This might be your board, leadership team, PR firm, or other communication staffers not assigned to the crisis team. What insights do they have for improving your response? Listen and learn from what others have to say. Sixth, assess the outcome of the crisis against key company measurables. Did your sales or stock-prices slump when the crisis initially struck? Did employee productivity slide during the crisis? How significant were your losses? Did you rebound quickly after your response? Did you even see gains after you demonstrated leadership during the crisis? Find out how a crisis and the communication surrounding the response impacts your key company metrics.
Seventh, assess the messages for consistency and tone and content. Were they timely, factual, helpful? Was anything left unsaid? Are there any unresolved issues that need clarification? Outline and document any processes or policies that changed as a result of your crisis. Candidly discuss your team's response. What went well? What could have gone better? How will you improve your response the next time a crisis strikes? Your organization's crisis teams need to operate quickly and confidently, by coming together to review and analyze the communication response, your team can learn insights to improve how you respond in the future.
- Define crisis.
- Explain how to respond quickly and confidently.
- Identify different audiences in crisis.
- Assess technical and physical resources.
- Describe how to establish a chain of command.
- Develop hold statements.
- Identify how to avoid common crisis response mistakes.
- Review your crisis communication response.