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Crisis Communications Planning: Now You’re Ready

By Crystal Smith


No one can prepare for a crisis.

Well, actually, they can — and they do. A lot of businesses and nonprofits have operational disaster plans. But few also have a crisis-communications plan.

Recently, however, we have started to see an increased trend in organizations coming to us to help them plan their communications roles, strategies, and even messages before a crisis event. What a crisis-communications plan does is help you to manage information and the messages you deliver to employees, the media, the public, and other audiences affected by a crisis situation.

The most important goals of a crisis-communications plan are to identify the potential and emerging risk scenarios for your organization and to determine who will serve in what roles for making and delivering communications decisions during a crisis. You also want to outline the specific action steps to take and even develop some of the messages that you might use during any of the potential scenarios that you identified. And, you want to prepare to do all of this while your team is calm and focused — not during a crisis.

But it doesn’t do you much good to spend weeks, even months, creating this plan if you’re not going to be able to use it during a crisis. We use a secure and customized mobile app to access a crisis-communications plan, which gives your team members the ability to access the most critical information quickly when they are away from the office or their computers.

The result of developing, and using, this plan is always a better reputation for your organization than if you did not have this resource.

Are you being heard?


Crystal Smith is director of integrated media for public relations at Strategic Communications, LLC, which says it provides “trusted counsel” for public relations, crisis communications, government relations, and business strategy. Contact her at





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