Crisis Communications Planning Checklist
During an emergency, it is imperative that those within your organization know how to communicate effectively.
This includes both internal and external communications. The following checklist will highlight some recommendations for developing and executing a well-rounded communications strategy in the face of any disaster scenario.
During an emergency, it is imperative that those within your organization know how to communicate effectively. This includes both internal and external communications. The following checklist will highlight some recommendations for developing and executing a well-rounded communications strategy in the face of any disaster scenario.
Developing Your Communications Plan
Start with a General Risk Assessment:
|✓||Establish a Crisis Management Team, and those within that group responsible for Communications.|
Develop and regularly update an Emergency Contact List to include:
|✓||Set up an Alert Notification System capable of multiple means of communication to employees, stakeholders & clients. TEST regularly.|
|✓||Ensure that employee, vendor & supplier mobile voice communications are not reliant on a single network. Utilize multiple carriers and train all critical personnel on the use of text messaging.|
|✓||Establish a separate, formal notification plan for employees' immediate families and close relatives in the event of loss of life, missing personnel, etc. Additionally, ensure that caregivers, day care operators and others upon whom employees may depend for family member support can receive appropriate information.|
|✓||Ensure that a formal system exists to integrate new hires into the Crisis Communications Plan.|
|✓||Consider establishing a public hot line, or a "dark" Website that can be activated on short notice to provide information during an emergency to everyone in the community.|
|✓||Consider an Online Social Networking Platform for web-based crisis communications (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)|
|✓||Establish a universally available and easily accessible database of information about the company in case of emergency to include company background information, critical documents, key contacts, passwords, etc.|
|✓||Consider setting up a password-protected online message board specific to your organization.|
Establish remote hosting for your corporate website.
|✓||Develop a tactical response plan for Voice/Phone redirection.|
Establish processes & plans to re-establish your network connectivity.
|✓||Coordinate all Crisis Communications Planning with key vendors and suppliers to ensure seamless transition.|
Develop and test your Media Communications Strategy.
|✓||Identify main media outlets through which information about your organization will be disseminated (Radio & TV stations, print media, etc.)|
|✓||Find a signage vendor with multiple regional locations to use for signage needs before, during & after a disaster.|
During The Crisis
|✓||Have all employees, vendors, client & media contact information on hand.|
|✓||Be the first to break the news about how your organization is responding. Even if the situation is still evolving, begin with full disclosure. ALWAYS respond to media requests.|
|✓||Continue to communicate with all key audiences until the crisis has passed. Consistency is important.|
|✓||Continuously monitor online and offline conversations in order to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your strategy and messaging.|
|✓||Confirm facts, communicating openly and accurately about the situation. Your communications team must be fully aware of all the facts and know the proper, approved messages. NOTHING is “off the record.”|
|✓||Use an Alert Notification System to keep all stakeholders posted on status and next steps.|
|✓||During evacuation have a central point of contact for all employees, and ensure you know where your people are located.|
|✓||During evacuation consider your phones lines - redirection to cell phones, answering service, Google Voice, or alternate locations could be critical.|
After the Crisis
|✓||Following the crisis, notify all critical people of next steps.|
|✓||Learn from the experience and anticipate the next crisis. Plan for likely and even unlikely scenarios based on this most recent crisis, and know the steps you’re going to take before you have to take them.|
|✓||Debrief staff on their experiences, praising people for what went well.|
|✓||Improve your plan as needed, and aim to regularly update it, including response to lingering fallout from the most recent crisis.|