Crisis Communication[1] - NorthSky Nonprofit Network

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CRISIS
COMMUNICATIONS
PLANNING
A rehearsal for crisis
Planning is key
GOALS:
of crisis communication:
 Control information flow
 Establish Spokesperson/train
 Maintain perspective
 Create the news story and organize response
Potential
CRISES
ASSESSMENT
• Create crisis plan
Who creates it, approves and updates?
• Conduct regular review of possible crisis issues or events
• Review crisis communication plan
AUDIENCE
ANALYSIS
Who really needs to know
your messaging?
Internal Audience
External Audience
CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS TEAM
 Identify key members
 Train them
 Define availability, contact information
BOARD SPOKESPERSON
In addition to NPO director,
who will speak for BOD?
GETTING THE
MESSAGE OUT…
Tools:
Prepared key messages
Immediate public response
(Multi-media: newspaper, radio,TV and online channels)
Announcements
Fact sheets
Backgrounders
News releases
Face meetings
E-mail blasts
Website posts
Social Media
IDENTIFY
DISTRIBUTION
CHANNELS




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Key stakeholders
Staff, BOD, top donors, administration
Regional media list
Key media contacts
Organizations and key
contacts linked to your NPO
PARTNERS,
ALLIES
 Civic leaders, influentials, legislators
 Third party links: police, fire fighters,
governmental agencies, environmental and
community groups, health and safety officials
 Media and public credibility
COMMUNICATION
INITIATIVES
Critical first several hours:
 Start plan
 Collect information
 Confirm facts
 Define crisis
 Inform key stakeholders
 Change plan as necessary
 Determine key actions
 Brief key spokesperson
 Prepare media tools
 Brief staff
MEDIA
RESPONSE
Some dos and don’ts…
Timely
Honest, integrity, willingness to cooperate
Never say “no comment….”
Clear and concise messaging
Cool, low-key, dignified
Focus on facts, take the high road
Avoid personal attacks, cheap shots
Acknowledgement of responsibility, maintain credibility
Never cover up
Determine reporter’s timeline, deadline, story angle
Track coverage, follow-up when necessary
REFERENCE
MATERIALS
Back communications plan with
relevant documentation:

Annual reports, enviro and safety reports

Operational details, record keeping

Emergency response plans and procedures

Facility and employee data
POST CRISIS
EVALUATION,
FOLLOW-UP



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Review crisis response: internally/externally
Survey staff
Public perception
Invite feedback from partner-agencies, third parties
Lessons learned:
“What did we do well?”
“What could we have done better?”
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