Crisis Communications Strategic Planning




Being prepared to handle a crisis must include a plan to communicate effectively with all those affected. Without it, an organization will suffer even greater consequences.

The crisis management plan should include:

  1. A database with the names, phone/page/fax/cellular numbers, e-mail and postal addresses of everyone on the crisis team
  2. Assigned roles and procedures for everyone on the crisis team
  3. A multimedia database with critical information on the organization's plants, offices, personnel, products and services that can be quickly accessed and analyzed
  4. Commercial databases that complement proprietary databases
  5. A means for everyone on the team to access the databases and collaborate from remote locations globally

The crisis management plan should facilitate rapid responses for:

  1. Determining the crisis' origin and scope
  2. Assisting the authorities with their investigations
  3. Monitoring the crisis
  4. Acknowledging the organization's responsibilities
  5. Taking prudent action to end the crisis
  6. Informing all those affected about how to protect themselves
  7. Updating those affected continuously via interactive communications and the media

Handling a crisis effectively could save lives and millions of dollars just as dealing with one ineffectively could do the opposite. And while a well managed crisis will often enhance one's reputation and business, a poorly managed one can damage both and open the organization up to costly litigation.

Adrian&Peterson Incorporated is developing a quick, simple and cost effective way for organizations to create crisis communication plans over the Internet. API is creating forms that let organizations develop crisis-related databases from a Web page. Once the crisis plan is complete, API provides ways to manage crises via the Web.

Managing crises over the Web is another example of how API is employing information technologies to reegineer public relations practices. The Online Press Release Factory located on its Web site, http://bizserve.com/api/factory.htm, helps organizations develop 14 different press releases via proprietary forms it created. API merges data submitted through the forms with corresponding API press release templates to speed its writing process and reduce the cost.