4 Best Practices for Crisis Communications in 2023

Crises are a fact of life, and even with the most cautious execution, they will probably happen to your business someday. Whether it’s a negative press article, product recall, quality issue, financial loss, or a natural disaster, you should be prepared. In a sticky situation, emotions can run high, and panic can quickly ensue. Things can spiral out of control, and before you know it, you have an even larger mess on your hands. That’s why it’s critical to prepare a crisis communications plan.

What Is Crisis Communications?

Crisis communication is often defined as the dissemination of information during a negative event. This communication can go to employees, investors, the board, customers, and any other partner affected. A crisis communication plan dictates the company’s response and is valuable for a few different reasons: it allows teams to agree on the plan ahead of time, so you can release information quickly and confidently when the crisis comes, it can help prevent irreparable damage to your business’ reputation, and it provides tactical steps for customer-facing teams to communicate with the public, leaving employees feeling more secure.

4 Best Practices for Crisis Communications

95% of business leaders said their crisis management capabilities needed improvement. This illustrates an overarching need for more tactical plans and strategies from leadership, so here are some best practices for crisis communications in 2023.

1. Build a Strategic Playbook

Your crisis communication plan should start with a playbook that details the response team, frequently asked questions, contact information, a chain of command, product management workflows, legal guidelines, and more. Get approval on these basics ahead of time, and keep this playbook regularly updated.

2. Dictate a Single Contact for Media Communication

When communicating with the press or media during a crisis, it’s critical for messaging to be concise, clear, and come from a single point of truth. Having multiple team members or leadership executives talking to the media often can create conflicting messages and a disjointed narrative, which is the last thing you want. Designate a single person who communicates with the media on record, whether that’s the CEO, COO, or a PR person. Deloitte reported the key areas in which businesses felt most vulnerable were their corporate reputation, cybercrime, and rumors, so remind employees to direct all press questions to that single person and not answer anything without approval.

3. Rehearse in Advance, and Remain Calm

While it’s easier said than done, rehearsing what you’ll do in a crisis keeps you calmer when it happens. Have all relevant stakeholders participate in mock crises and run an analysis of what worked and what didn’t. Where did your plan fail? What questions arose? What felt unclear or shaky during the process? Tweak these areas, and when disaster strikes, remain calm, and remember you’ve prepared for this day.

4. Communicate Clearly

When you have a prepared message and a single voice speaking to customers, investors, the press, or the public, you’re already in a good spot. Use webcasts for crisis communication for a convenient, easy-to-use form of communication. No matter the audience, high-quality video and audio allow you to focus on the content.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Fail to plan, and you plan to fail.” Less than 30% of business leaders said their organization recovered from a crisis within a year, which shows the danger of failing in crisis communications. So rehearse your plan with GlobalMeet Webcast to power your communications, and rest assured your business is prepared for the inevitable rainy day.

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