Essential elements of a crisis communication plan

If you’ve just been communicating by the seat of your pants, waiting for the pandemic to end, take time to codify and clarify your strategy.

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If you communicate for a living, you have the power—and the responsibility—to shepherd, enlighten, instruct and lead amid chaos or confusion. You are a first responder of sorts, so the onus is on you to be prepared for a crisis, which Jonathan Bernstein describes as “any situation that is threatening or could threaten to harm people or property, seriously interrupt business, significantly damage reputation and/or negatively impact the bottom line.”

Even if your company already has a crisis framework in place–or if COVID-19 has upended previous plans–it’s important to revise, refresh and rehearse regularly. Keep these basics in mind:

1. Pick a format, and get it in writing (or on slides or video).

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