Controlling a crisis can be difficult. It can cause a panic and a frantic rush to quickly communicate a response. Too often, companies make the mistake of hastily throwing together statements, only to cause more damage to their brand and further hinder their recovery.
Thankfully, with crisis communication templates, you can prepare statements early, to save precious time and protect your credibility.
What Is a Crisis Communication Message Template?
Crisis communication templates are pre-written responses to an incident. They can be created for a wide range of situations, such as media inquiries, press updates, and security alerts. You can also tailor them to specific audiences, like journalists, staff, or shareholders. They're an invaluable tool in communicating more effectively.
Your template should include basic details, imagery, custom headers and footers, and anything else that's relevant to the incident. Once you've created the basic structure, you can add vital content, forming the framework for future communications.
Having easy access to message templates lets you prepare and outline your responses in advance of a crisis. This lets you react quicker, letting you take control of the situation.
How to Craft the Perfect Message Template
For the biggest impact, adhere to the following when creating your crisis communication templates.
Add relevant Details and Fill in the Gaps
Your templates don't have to be elaborate. It's best to keep things relatively light, so you can fill in the relevant information when it becomes available.
The content of each template will depend on the type of situation. For example, for a general holding statement, you should aim to acknowledge:
- Who has been affected by the crisis (group, organisation, or person)
- What action you're taking to remedy the situation (investigation, emergency response etc.)
- When to expect updates (specific times or as soon as possible)
- Relevant contact information (phone number, company address etc.)
You can then add more details as soon as they become available. The nature of templates makes them flexible, so ensure they're structured to be easily adapted for any situation.
Tailor them to Individual Crises
When you perform your risk assessments, you'll get an idea of the types of crisis likely to affect your organisation. You can then harness this data to prepare templates that address particular circumstances. For instance, if your company is vulnerable to cyberattacks, then it's probably a good idea to prepare a response to staff or customers that may be affected. It's much easier to get on top of the situation if you've got a strategic template ready to roll out at a moments' notice.
It's also worth preparing a one-size-fits-all template, as a bare-bones example to structure any additional templates from. In this, you can include standard details such as company name, contact information, and a brief line of response. Sometimes it won't be appropriate to give any crisis details away from the start. In this case, a simple template will be useful, to acknowledge that you're aware of a problem and you're working towards a solution.
Don't be afraid to revisit them later on
As businesses grow and expand, so do the associated risks. With this in mind, you should make sure your templates remain up-to-date. Be ready to make regular changes if new issues occur.
Aim to review your templates on an annual basis, as part of your crisis management plan. It's far too easy for businesses to get complacent and this is when a crisis can do the most damage. If you keep crisis management a priority, then you'll be safeguarding your organisation for the foreseeable future.
For a detailed evaluation of your company's level of incident preparedness, book a demo of F24's advanced CIM software today.