It's all too common for companies to be ill-prepared when it comes to crisis communication. Your team can have limited access to information, lack meaningful structure to their methods of response, and have no effective ways to answer queries. The consistent pressure exercised by the press can often be incredibly difficult to deal with and organising communication across all channels can be an exhausting process.
Thankfully, the right incident management software can alleviate these communicative issues as soon as they arise, which can mean the difference between a quick resolution and an ongoing ordeal.
Why is Crisis Communication Important?
Media and crisis communication is essential as it's your first response to any issues that could negatively affect the reputation of your company during a crisis. It's through crisis communication that businesses protect their reputation and prevent any more damage from affecting their brand. Crucially, it forms a key part of your incident management checklist and is arguably the most important part of a long-term solution.
However, even if your organisation can recover from a crisis situation, giving out misleading information can seriously damage your company's reputation. This is why effective and precise communication is critical during a crisis – it prevents a bad situation getting worse.
Having a watertight crisis communication plan can help to reduce the spread of misinformation, streamline communications, and improve the speed at which messages are relayed. If executed correctly, you can ensure that no delicate details leak and you maintain a consistent, unified tone throughout all interactions with the media. The biggest challenge comes from manually managing all the different lines of communication. This is where incident management software can be a life-saver.
What Benefits Can Incident Management Software Offer?
An effective incident management solution can improve your crisis communication in a number of different ways.
1:Handling Next of Kin (NOK)
A NOK module can help you manage sensitive information about those affected by a potential incident and ensure the relevant details are passed to the right people. Callers can then be quickly connected to the people affected, with a full timeline of communications being recorded automatically to their personal record.
Users can then follow up and monitor requests from NOK, send multiple notifications simultaneously, and issue updates where appropriate.
2:Create a Timeline of Events
With incident log software you'll be able to build a detailed overview of events, detailing the chronology of the crisis in real-time. This can help you create an accurate picture of the situation so you can plan (and keep track of) your responses.
Your organisation can then select what information from each module appears in the log and its visibility. For example, you can customise it so that members of the press can only see information that is active and published. Likewise, you can make all information visible to stakeholders to keep them updated on the situation, wherever they are.
3:Media and Press Release Management
Dealing with the press is part and parcel of crisis management. You need to be prepared. The right crisis management tool can handle things such as: media enquiry logging and follow up, statement creation, and manage mass communications over email and SMS.
It can also help you draft all of your communications with the media and help you create templates for different situations. You can set up templates to send custom messages that are tailored to specific types of incident or for them to trigger when certain criteria is met. This can be incredibly useful at managing the spread of misinformation and retaining transparency. It also frees up considerable time for your team to focus on other issues.
4:More Efficient Messaging and Notifications
If a crisis occurs, you need to react quickly. A notification alert tool can help alleviate some of the potential stress by utilising multi-channel communication to send and receive email, voice, and SMS alerts. This can be used to inform emergency services or crisis management teams of an incident and also provide warnings to staff, stakeholders, or customers.
Response profiles can also be set up so recipients can send responses straight back to the system to swiftly ascertain their safety. They can check-in and provide their location during a geographical crisis, send push notifications to dedicated numbers, and automatically record details onto the system when they respond.
Effective communication during a crisis situation is essential, to minimise damage and ensure relevant information gets to the right people.
CIM by F24 is a comprehensive system for security, preparedness, and crisis communication management. It's fully-equipped with a wide range of custom modules that can be tailored to suit your individual needs. To discover the best solution for you, check out our e-book.