An integral part of a crisis-response plan is informing various audiences who might be affected by potentially bad news. Yes, we need to spend time responding to allegations and working with the media, but keeping other key audiences informed can often take the sting out of a crisis and get an organization back on the road to recovery much sooner.
Creating an audience list, well before a crisis hits, has become even more important as a variety of bloggers and websites are more than happy to publish memos from CEOs announcing major changes, or even gossip from a disgruntled employee. And there are social media outlets, which can serve as an immediate online bullhorn for advertising bad news.
Also remember that messaging may need to be catered to each audience. What’s appropriate for the boardroom may not be appropriate for customers.
Here are some key audiences who should be kept in the loop when a crisis hits:
Corporate executives. This includes all your bosses, and their bosses. Keep communications high-level. The last thing you want are too many cooks in the kitchen. This group may include potential spokespeople and decision makers. You shouldn’t do anything without their support.