Crisis communication is fluid. Even as news comes out, critical messaging changes. It’s hard to know how long to sit on your message, waiting for the latest information to be available. The longer you delay, the longer you’re sitting out, not getting your message out to your clients, your customers and your community.
But there’s another way. You can get the message out, and be there when you’re needed most, even if the message needs to change minutes, hours or days later. You don’t need to sit on the sidelines. Get out in the midst of the crisis and stay communicative.
Make Technology Your Best Tool
The first thing to do is set up a landing page. This is your home base of crisis communications. Put a date and time stamp in a prominent location on the page so your readers will know how up-to-date it is. And keep it as up-to-date as you can.
Create a banner ad for your website that links to the landing page. The ad can alert your visitors that the latest information can be found on that page.
To maintain your landing page with the information your readers need, you can set up Google alerts for the situation you’re following. Then, you’ll receive an email when pertinent information is released in the news.
Broadcasting Your Message
Depending on the information that needs to be shared, you may consider a variety of ways to get the word out. An email newsletter or notification is a quick way to disperse information quickly. Make sure to link to your landing page, as you can’t update that email once it goes out.
A videoconference or webinar can help you get into the details for your folks, too, and help them understand some of the finer points involved. But again, make sure you share your landing page, in case the situation changes hours later or in the following days.
Choose Your Tone — And Stick With It
Crisis situations can come with a myriad of complicated emotions. Before you craft your message, take a mental step back and consider your company’s core values. What have you committed to conveying? Positivity? Creativity? Impartiality? Kindness? Who you are at the core should not change in a crisis.
Once you get a handle on your brand’s tone, you can create the message with the emotion you want to convey to your clients, customers and community. Remember, if you feel stressed, your readers will feel it. Step back from your emotions and write intentionally.
Keep Your Team In The Loop
You chose your team by design, to reflect your mission and purpose. Thus, your team members are your best assets in a crisis. They can help keep you on brand and in focus, even when things get stressful. Share your message with the team before it goes out to check for any oversights. And be honest about the kind of reliance you’ll have on your team members during this time of crisis by letting them know what you’ll need from them. Together, you can better weather the storm.
When you’re stressed and in crisis mode, paralysis can set in. Being proactive and purposeful with your communication keeps you out and in front of the community, as well as relevant and helpful in a challenging situation. Don’t be afraid of the changing your message — just get out there and start serving your community.