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Importance of Crisis Communication

A crisis is any situation that affects the smooth operation of an organization or its reputation. All organizations need to have a plan in the event of an emergency that may affect the organization. Organizations, therefore, should put a team in place to anticipate a crisis and act on the problem if it occurs so that the team can avert the damages caused. The problem might be caused by an organization’s fault or fabricated information that maybe be passed out as the truth by malicious people. Types of crisis may include natural calamities, human-caused events such as fires, explosions, hazardous material spills, and technological issues. This paper seeks to create a crisis communication plan if the government sets out legislation that directly affects the organization.

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The objective of the crisis communication plan would be to provide guidelines and a straightforward way to deal with the problem if it occurs and restore operations to normal. This plan aims would be to provide prompt and reliable information while identifying the resources available. Another objective of the crisis communication plan would be to keep employees focused and help them realize the main priorities at the time of incidence(“Experts: Everyone Needs a Crisis Management Plan,” 2021). Moreover, other goals would be to communicate accurate and honest facts as quickly as possible and avoid speculation of unknown details. A crisis communication plan is discovered by critical stakeholders involved in the running of the organization.

The scope would act as the organization’s guide to disseminating information in the event of a crisis. Possible triggers may include government laws that directly affect the organization, natural calamities like earthquakes and floods, or technological failure. Major stakeholders of the organization activate the project scope. The stakeholders, in this case, would be the chief executive officer, spokesperson, head of departments, and public relations. After activation, the team to deal with the crisis would address how the government’s new laws have affected the company and how the legal team would go about it.

The situation’s assumption to be justified is that each crisis requires a unique way to respond to it. When it comes to an emergency, a few planning assumptions are likely to occur like no one communication method can get hold of everyone. It would take time to get the accurate information, and rumors are more likely to spread, finding their way to the headlines. In that event, it would be everyone’s responsibility to pass accurate and correct information and get in touch with the needed personnel.

The organization should keep the following audiences informed in an emergency; internal staff, external people, and partners. The internal staff would include people who work within the organization. External people include those directly affected by the organization, such as the community, news reporters, state legislators, and the business communities. These people are the ones who are directly involved with the organizations’ growth and help in maintaining the reputation and financial benefits. The partners would involve the shareholders, business community, and the stakeholders of the organization. They are directly involved in the organization’s welfare and its growth and success.

The role of leaders is crucial to every emergency, and this determines whether the leader is fit for his role since disasters make and break a leader. The role of the chief executive officer (CEO) would be to look at facts, determine what matters most, and decide with the organization’s best interest at heart. The CEO is supposed to be positive in the event of a crisis, provide confidence and exemplary leadership, and take ownership of any problems that may arise. Their primary responsibility would be not to lose control of the situation. They would be responsible for ensuring that the team members only focus on the job at hand by giving out the team’s tasks to be handled by others during the ongoing crisis.

The spokesperson’s role would involve providing the correct information during the crisis. They also would be responsible for giving suitable publicity to the press or any media platform on how the company is handling the situation (“in-house lawyer’s role in successful crisis management,” 2017). In the case of an emergency, the spokesperson must convey the message in a modulated and lower tone. They must not react with temper and should be calm and not take abuse. The spokesperson should have undergone training to ensure that they avert the chances of misinterpretation of the information.

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The legal defense team of a company would also be engaged in the crisis management team. Their responsibilities would be to ensure good public relations communication and provide legal advice on the policy in the crisis. They come up with a good plan to give the organization an adaptive framework to make decisions quickly, and this aids the organization in exercising sound judgment and asses facts leading to sensible and intelligent decisions. This plan saves people from making errors caused by pressure and too much scrutiny.

The critical communication strategies of any organization would include planning, being transparent, and doing things in the fastest way possible. Planning would involve anticipation of any crisis that may arise and having a contingency plan put in place for such a scenario. It is responsible for the team to be transparent to avoid conflicts since bad publicity always finds a way to the headlines and lies can destroy the organization. Speed is critical when in an emergency it involves how the organization acquires knowledge and shares the acquired knowledge with the related authorities.

The guidelines on using social media may include copyright guidelines, never assume that employees understand the use and credit of third-party content. An organization should also have strong social media passwords in place since employees have a high likelihood of causing more cyber security crimes than hackers (“How to manage a social media crisis: A practical guide for brands,” 2021). Employees can also use social media platforms to pass information to avoid misinformation and rumor-mongering. The organization should also have a social media team in place to identify emerging issues.

Communication is vital in times of crisis, how fast you get information and disseminate it is what matters at the time. Nowadays, information is easy to come across from social media to other platforms. Employees should know how to evaluate this information and anticipate how such information would cause harm to the organization. Similarly, the organization can use social media to convey information to its hundreds of followers and employees in terms of crisis. This can be achieved by a social media post or messages sent to their employees and customers in some cases. The organization may also use private networks such as the intranet to send crucial information within the company’s premises. However, the use of intranet is cautioned against, since employees can leak vital information to the public, leading to more problems.

References

Janice Francis-Smith. “Experts: Everyone Needs a Crisis Management Plan.” The Journal Record (Oklahoma City, Okla.) 2021: n. page 28-60.

The in-house lawyer’s role in successful crisis management. (2017). In-house Blog. Web.

How to manage a social media crisis: A practical guide for brands. (2021). Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard. Web.

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