7 Steps on How to Start Your PR Crisis Plan
As a PR firm or company there is nothing more important than establishing a crisis plan for yourself or client to be ready to execute at any time. With an effective plan comes readjusting it as your company evolves with time. This can prove to be daunting when trying to evaluate every aspect of your plan, but Scott Rainone, in PR News’ Crisis Management Guidebook, recommends starting the evaluation process in steps by determining which components are the most important to your company’s approach.
Below are Rainone’s 7 steps to finding your starting point:
- Analyze if your plan is flexible enough to address challenges such as changes to crisis command location and availability of personnel and technology.
- Determine your specific audiences, not just the public, but also ones that might be impacted by an incident.
- Test your potential messages with actual members of your audiences to determine if they resonate in the ways you intended.
- Explore if your messages are best suited for the communication channels you have planned to use in a crisis.
- Determine if your stakeholders are informed about a topic important to your organization that may arise and, if they are not, develop ways you might be able to inform them.
- Explore who are the main contributors on your crisis team and if they have the training and resources needed to be able to succeed.
- Use interviews, focus groups, and surveys to incorporate feedback from target audiences and others into the planning and evaluation processes.