Crisis Communications_Plans and Exercises

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Crisis Communications exercises, templates and plans

Crisis Communications_Plans and Exercises

  1. 1. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunityPlans and Tabletop Exercises to Build An Effective Communication Strategy 1 April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com
  2. 2. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Agenda •  Definitions •  “We’re not in Kansas any more”: The Communities we Live in •  Two Critical Aspects of a Viable Communication Plan •  Communication exercises •  “In case of emergency, break glass” April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 2
  3. 3. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Definitions April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 3
  4. 4. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Crisis Management •  Crisis management is the process by which an organization deals with a major unpredictable event that threatens to harm the organization, its stakeholders, or the general public. •  The three most common elements that define a crisis: –  A threat to the organization. –  The element of surprise. –  A short decision time. April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 4
  5. 5. Out of Danger Comes Emergency Management & Safety Solutions Opportunity Reputation Management•  Reputation is the opinion (or “social evaluation”) of a collection of entities towards a person, a group, or an organization. It has three elements: –  Defined by others. –  Highly effective mechanism of social control. –  Fundamental instrument of social order.•  What is “reputation management”? –  Borne from the computing age, where the fluid nature of that media requires the constant monitoring of your reputation. April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 5
  6. 6. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity“We’re not in Kansas any more”: The Communities we Live in April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 6
  7. 7. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Three Different Communities •  “Real world”: –  Small towns. –  Big cities. •  “Virtual” world: –  Online communities. April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 7
  8. 8. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Small Town •  Small population, frequent face-to-face interactions, and positive identification. –  There is no question who said or did what. •  Reputation accrues not only throughout ones lifetime, but is passed down to ones offspring: –  Ones individual reputation depends both on ones own actions and ones inherited reputation. April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 8
  9. 9. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Big Cities •  Community members come and go. We know a small fraction of people compared to the whole: –  Small subgroups provide some implied reputation management. •  Reputations are managed with more formal tools: –  Laws/criminal justice system. –  Elections/elected officials. –  Racial or ethnic prejudice. April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 9
  10. 10. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Online Community •  Instant communication, 24x7: –  There is no hiding, covering up, or holding back. •  Everything is available for public comment in a moment. •  Everyone is a “reporter” in the virtual world. –  Cell phone photos and video are released to a global audience in moments. April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 10
  11. 11. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Going Viral in the Virtual World •  Tony Howard, BP CEO: –  “We’re sorry for the massive disruption it’s caused to their lives.” •  Later he said: –  “There’s no one who wants this thing over more than I do. I’d like my life back.” (May 31, 2010) April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 11
  12. 12. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 12
  13. 13. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Two Critical Aspects of a Viable Communication Plan April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 13
  14. 14. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Communication Matrix •  A simple and valuable tool for any team to develop is what we call a communication matrix. –  Identify all of the stakeholders that you will need to communicate with after any incident. –  Name the internal “owner” of that communication relationship. –  Specify what tools will be used to communicate with each stakeholder. April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 14
  15. 15. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 15
  16. 16. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Communication Templates •  Pre-written “scripts” that contain the basic outline of what information might be needed, and then could be quickly modified with current and pertinent information during an incident. •  Once the templates have been written, get all of the formal approvals now, before an event occurs. Pre- approval may need to include legal counsel, senior management, investor relations; your company may require other approvers. April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 16
  17. 17. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Consider Two Styles of Messages1.  It happened only to you. The incident only happened to you and the rest of “the world” is fine. Imagine such events as a fire, workplace violence situation, water pipe break, etc.2.  It happened to everybody. The event is widespread or regional in nature, and many people are affected. This could include earthquakes, hurricanes, severe winter storms, etc. April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 17
  18. 18. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Communication Exercises April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 18
  19. 19. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Communication Exercises •  Communications exercises can be done for just the Communications team, or as part of a larger Incident Management Team exercise. •  Begin by determining what the team wants to get out of the exercise experience. Start with what we call the “silly little question”: Why are we doing this exercise? –  This conversation will help you to develop the specific exercise objectives for the team. April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 19
  20. 20. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Communication Objectives •  To assess the ability of the communications team to develop timely communications: –  “Validate the communication matrix: stakeholders, owners, and tools. Note areas for improvement.” –  “Utilize the new communication templates. Assess tools and process for timeliness. Note areas for improvement.” –  “Assess the ability of the team to monitor and respond to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Digg. Note areas for improvement.” April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 20
  21. 21. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Exercise Narrative •  Once you have designed the communications objectives, now you can select an exercise narrative. •  Create a realistic scenario that will deliver the kind of results you are looking for in the objectives. •  To best exercise the Communication team, it should be a “public enough” event to create issues that may: –  Impact the company reputation and brand (both internally and externally). –  Create media interest in the story. •  Pull a headline “from the news” as a potential story line. April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 21
  22. 22. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Exercise Deliverables •  There are a variety of specific exercise deliverables you might want to have your team develop and which should be called out. Suggestions include: 1.  Create employee hotline message. 2.  Create employee text message (SMS). 3.  Create company website message. 4.  Prepare press release. 5.  Prepare for a press conference. 6.  Create Facebook, Twitter, and/or other social media responses. 7.  Create client message. 8.  Create investor relations message. April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 22
  23. 23. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Employee Hotline Message •  A very reliable form of employee communication. These phone numbers are usually toll-free. •  Employees would call this number to find out simple information (such as if the office is open or closed) and basic employee instructions. •  For an exercise, set up a “dummy” hotline and have the team develop and record the message. April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 23
  24. 24. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Text Messages (SMS) •  If using an emergency notification system (ENS), SMS might be the best and most reliable way of communication after a regional disaster. •  However, it takes practice to provide enough information in 140 characters or less. •  An exercise goal could be to develop SMS messages for employees participating in the exercise, and then send them. April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 24
  25. 25. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Company Website •  How are updates posted on the company website? Which team makes the changes? •  For an exercise, if a “dummy” webpage can be set up, it is great practice to change the page to reflect the company’s status through the course of the exercise. –  If that isn’t possible, ask the team to develop the message and then post it on a status board in the exercise. April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 25
  26. 26. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Press Release •  A formal press release should be developed for the exercise, either in response to media inquiries or just as a matter of course. •  This release should be developed, approved through the agreed-upon channels, and distributed to the team in the exercise. •  This gives the team a chance to use the pre- approved press release templates. April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 26
  27. 27. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Press Conference •  This is a great conclusion to any exercise. •  The pre-identified company spokesperson gets up before a group of “reporters” to read the company release and take questions. •  Where do you get these “reporters”? Start with those who know the story line. Simulation Team members or other employees who have been involved in the exercise design make great “reporters.” April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 27
  28. 28. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Social Media Response •  Develop Twitter messages and Facebook postings (or other forums that you find) during the exercise. •  Post these messages on the communications status board in the exercise so everyone can see what you are developing in real time. •  BE CAREFUL! There are no “development” social media systems. Don’t accidentally post exercise information to a real site! April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 28
  29. 29. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Client Message •  Go back to your communication matrix. •  You should have called out all of the owners and the tools. •  Develop several messages in the exercise and deploy to the business units. –  If you don’t provide the talking points, they will likely make them up themselves. This is not an ideal solution for customer communication. •  Post all client messages on the communications status board. April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 29
  30. 30. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Investor Relations Message•  If you are a publically-traded company, sometimes you need to get a message out to “the Street” rapidly. –  This is usually an integrated response between Investor Relations, Legal, and your senior management.•  Use the pre-designed templates and modify them in the exercise. Assess their effectiveness and post. April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 30
  31. 31. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 31
  32. 32. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Remember This…“There is no privacy. Everyone is the media. You can’thide anything – don’t even think about it… Everything youdo can be exposed – so think very hard about what youwant to be in the world.” Gary Vaynerchuk http://reputationprofessor.com/ April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 32
  33. 33. Out of Danger Comes Emergency Management & Safety Solutions OpportunityCommunication in the “New World” •  Think about how to live in this “new world.” –  Your company and you are being pulled into it whether you like it or not. •  How can a Communications Team manage the onslaught in this brave new world of constant communication? •  You have to be ready at a moment’s notice to communication effectively and quickly. April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 33
  34. 34. Out ofDangerComes Emergency Management & Safety SolutionsOpportunity Thank you Regina Phelps, CEM, RN, BSN, MPA Emergency Management & Safety Solutions San Francisco, California 415-643-4300 www.ems-solutionsinc.com Get our new book on Exercise Design @ www.ChandiMedia.com April 2011 www.ems-solutionsinc.com 34

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