No better time than now for crisis preparedness

Less than a week into swine flu crisis, are your communications up to par?

Less than a week into swine flu crisis, are your communications up to par?

Let’s evaluate how you did on the job this week.

By now, most of you have talked with your employees about swine flu. At the very least, you provided some informative links in an e-mail. Or maybe you held a virtual meeting with employees, posted a video from the CEO to your intranet, and even tweeted updates.

But if you’ve done nothing and still aren’t sure what to say about swine flu and how to say it, it’s not too late.

That was the message yesterday during Ragan’s virtual News Briefing featuring representatives from the Mayo Clinic and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and crisis communication expert Jonathan Bernstein.

“If you’ve failed to prepare, I guarantee you’re not alone,” said Bernstein, president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc. “If you prepare now, whether or not this particular situation gets worse, you’ll be prepared for the next one.”

A recent Ragan survey found that 38 percent of 314 communicators polled didn’t use a crisis communications plan to speak with employees and the public about swine flu.

So here are five things all communicators can do to inform employees and calm fears as the situation continues to develop.

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