When an emergency occurs, the need to communicate is immediate. If operations are disrupted, clients will want to know how they will be impacted. Regulators may need to be notified and local government officials will want to know what is going on in their community. Employees and their families will be concerned and want information.
An important component of the preparedness program is the crisis communications plan. An organization must be able to respond promptly, accurately, and confidently during an emergency in the hours and days that follow. Many different audiences must be reached with information specific to their interests and needs. The image of the business can be positively or negatively impacted by public perceptions of the handling of the incident.
Crisis communication refers to the technologies, systems, and protocols that enable an organization to effectively communicate during a major threat to its business or reputation.
Organizations must be prepared for a wide range of potential crises, including extreme weather, crime, cyber-attacks, product recalls, corporate malfeasance, reputation crises, and PR incidents.
Preparing ahead of time for a crisis ensures that relevant personnel can quickly and effectively communicate with each other during moments of threat, sharing information that allows the organization to quickly rectify the situation, protect customers, employees, and assets, and ensure business continuity.
Industries and businesses of all types and sizes are increasingly embracing issues and crisis communication planning.
In fact, an estimated 84 percent of organizations have an emergency communication plan in place, according to the Business Continuity Institute. Fifty-five percent use three or more emergency communication processes.
And yet, nearly two-thirds say they are not confident about their preparedness for a crisis event.
So, while organizations recognize the importance of issues and crisis communication, and are investing heavily in related processes, they feel as unprepared as ever. Here is where the IEG expert team can help its clients to shape their communications, prepare and be ready for any crisis communication moment that may, unexpectedly, arise.