Anyone who works in PR knows that your day can change as fast as the weather—sunny and glorious one minute and dark and stormy the next.
Communicators across the country are—or should be—braced for extreme weather at all times.
You can’t control the weather, but you can control your company’s reaction to it. Do you have a communication plan in place if a crisis situation should roll in?
Here are three steps to take after a natural disaster hits:
1. Be proactive.
Make your job easier by anticipating the crisis before it arrives and preparing a system of communication. Decide on the chain of command for decision-making and who will speak on behalf of your company when controversy strikes.
If you wake up one morning and a tree has fallen on your office building, who would you call first? Who develops the message? Who has to approve it? How would you get the message to your employees, customers and other key stakeholders? How will you handle calls from the news media? Do you have a media-trained spokesperson?
In addition to mapping out procedures for the flow of information, you should also brainstorm a list of possible crises—weather-induced or otherwise—and think through how you would respond to each. This step should go beyond communications strategy.