10 Ways to Improve your Crisis Communications – tip 6 Create a Crisis Communications Kit

Emergency preparedness and response plans save your people, business continuity plans save your operations, crisis communication plans save your reputation.  Together, they can save your business. It is important to master crisis communication planning early in your business continuity program. These ten tips will help you to get a handle on this important endeavour.

Before you begin, you need to understand where crisis communication fits into your organization.  Crisis communication is an integral part of a business continuity program but it is also a component of public relations and enterprise risk management.

Tip #6 Create a crisis communications kit

The following documents should be included in any crisis communications kit, in paper and digital form. Pencils, lined paper and a manual typewriter should be available.

  1. A list of the members of the crisis communication team each with two back-ups
  2. Contact information for key officers, spokesperson(s), and crisis management team members
  3. Fact sheets on the company, each division, each physical location, and each product offered (Photos should also be included)
  4. Profiles and biographies for each key manager in your company
  5. Copies of your company, division and product logos, your press release format and the scanned in signature of your CEO
  6. Pre-approved scripts answering key questions that have been generated in advance to respond to risks identified in the risk evaluation (Included in these scripts should be the words used to say “we don’t have that information yet, but will let you know as soon as it becomes available”)
  7. Contact information for each of your key media contacts both locally, nationally, and if appropriate, key financial press and analysts
  8. Contact information for your  appropriate political, regulatory, and union leaders
  9. Contact information for any Public Relations firm which may be contracted to provide specialized crisis communication services or back-up the crisis communications team

(For more information on DRI’s professional practices please read Professional Practice Nine – Crisis Communications DRII Professional Practices June 1, 2012 Version 1)

‘When planning for war, I have always found plans to be useless, but planning to be invaluable.’ General Eisenhower

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