Foundational to crisis management is strategic communication. In an otherwise confusing and uncertain time, it provides direction and clarity for partners, customers, and employees. During a crisis, strategic communication has several roles:
- Engage stakeholders
- Earn trust
- Inspire confidence
All of these work toward advancing and stabilizing an organization.
To successfully recover and maintain business continuity, communication on a consistent and clear level is crucial. To emerge effectively through a crisis, the power of communication can be leveraged by organizations. To do this, a crisis management method referred to as Ready, Respond, Recover, and Restore can be used. Leaders can help propel a company toward future success by using crisis management and effective strategic communication.
Regarding the RRRR crisis management method, let’s take a look at each “R”.
In the Ready Phase of this management method, the role of strategic communication provides the necessary groundwork. With it, organizations can effectively respond and sustain trust. How is this done? A plan of management must be developed before the crisis happens. Proactively, a company considers crisis scenarios that have a high likelihood for this phase. How well an actual crisis is navigated by an organization is a direct reflection of how well their crisis communication strategies have been prepared.
When a crisis strikes, the Respondent Phase of crisis management is where an organization moves next. To keep stakeholders informed, information that is credible and timely is provided during this phase through strategic communication. Additionally, to build trust, this communication also acts as a tool. Messages shared with organizations should be the following:
In this manner, companies are likely to see the following results:
- Gain trust
- Retain loyal customers
- Maintain brand perception
- Retain partners and employees
Once stability is again experienced, the Recovery Phase is entered into by a business. To provide stakeholder clarity (to help them envision the future) and assess new opportunities, during this phase, strategic communication is again essential. Consistent communication and a proactive approach are crucial even if it feels repetitive. Why? Because uncertainty will undoubtedly be felt by many stakeholders, even as recovery and stabilization once again is present in the organization. To articulate and define the company’s future vision, communication must be used by leaders. It’s important, regarding the improved stability of the company, to keep people well informed.
And Finally, Restore
Eventually, it will be time for the Restore Phase. Here, to move the business confidently forward, the role of strategic communication is used – it is also tactical for sustained growth. An organization now has the opportunity to do the following after the crisis:
- Recalibrate its values and mission
- Realign its communication to its purpose
- For needed changes, provide rationale
Meaningful interaction with stakeholders will be established by the company through this type of communication. This, in return, will help positively differentiate the culture and brand of the company.
Crisis Management, Business Continuity, and Communication – All in One!
At JoTo PR, we use the science of crisis management to manage the everyday PR of our clients. Why? We find that it gives us a leg up on our competition who uses outdated, old world, average methods of PR. What we’ve done, in a nutshell, was to take those practices and supply them with superpowers! Thanks to this management system, our achievement results are unprecedented.
If you’d like to find out more about what our high-powered PR tactics can do for you, we’d be happy to discuss it with you. Contact us today to find out more.