Missed Stage 1 on how to get the basics right when a crisis breaks? Read it here.
Stage 2 – Mitigate the Challenge
This is the hard work. Getting to grips with the problems driving the crisis. Putting in place initial solutions and emergency measures and then working to make the situation better and transition to permanent solutions. The two key challenges for most companies are to make speedy progress and to communicate frequently enough – but with relevant, new information. You can over communicate by saying the same thing again and again.
Key actions: moving from an initial emergency stance to working the problem; keeping key business processes running; setting the timescale for full recovery and establishing key milestones; ensuring all relevant stakeholders are updated; keeping these key audiences fully apprised of progress.
What’s new today: staff can be the best crisis ambassadors if motivated, mobilised and kept in the loop (as much as is possible). Key official messaging has to be centralised and controlled – but wider brand communication benefits from less control and more trust.
What doesn’t work: delegating responsibility. CEOs need to assume full ownership and responsibility and keep it until the crisis is over.
What normally goes wrong: progress is too slow; no clear setting out of the route-map to a return to normalcy; no setting of milestones so progress can be measured; no mobilisation of staff to help with the wider brand/reputation impact; infrequent and/or inaccurate communication; poorly delegated leadership
Key communications deliverables: here’s the clear plan for how we’re working the problem and how we’ll get back to normal operating procedures.