You need a robust internal communications plan to weather the storms your company faces. 2020 is a year for the record books. Your company, more than likely, has never looked like it did this year. Some companies had to close their doors, some were booming more than they were ready for, some are now trying to manage an entirely remote team.
These changes all happened fast.
No matter how the 2020 pandemic affected your organization, you must have an effective internal communications plan in place to know how to respond both internally and externally.
Managing A Crisis
Many internal communications specialists are well acquainted with the need to communicate effectively in times of crisis, but are these plans actually good? Are they effective enough to make the problem smaller, not bigger?
It’s worth figuring out because occasionally a company’s poorly planned response will only exacerbate the problem, not put it on the back burner. A good reputation once lost is hard to build back up. But a sincere, well-crafted response to a mistake or problem can positively turn things around and define the future of your company going forward.
Becoming Experts On The Current Situation Is Crucial
One of the major keys to successful crisis communication is knowledge: turn everyone in your organization into an expert on the situation. Then, when approached by external queries, there will be no confusion or doubt about how to respond or what information is permissible to share.
If you don’t have all the information others are asking for, sometimes it’s more helpful to just be honest than pretend like you have all the answers. Being updated regularly that there is no new information is often better than wondering if new details are being concealed.
It might take some analysis, but the point is to just try to strike a balance between honesty and control.
Answering Some Questions To Determine The Health Of Your Internal Communications Plan
If you’re not sure about the strength of your current internal crisis communications plan, here are a few questions from a study to help you measure it:
Question #1 – What would you want to prioritize in your first employee update during a crisis?
Panicked, uninformed employees are a liability, but confident, knowledgeable employees are your best weapons to keep a crisis from spreading internally (and externally).
Question #2 – How many customer-facing employees do you have, and how will you get the right messages out for them to share?
If you’re facing a crisis that also affects people outside your organization, you must identify those employees who directly interface with the public and equip them with the correct information. If all of your employees are not on the same page, they will just expand the problem by giving out incorrect data.
Question #3 – Are you able to work speedily at your organization? Are there any clunky processes or a lack of skill or competence that might prevent smooth-as-possible crisis communications?
Speedy communication in times of crisis is everything. Rumors can travel at the speed of light via social media, so make sure you have the technology and strategy to manage the information going in and out of your organization.
Being Equipped for any Potential Problems
You can’t afford to take that chance. A crisis will happen at some point or another. Make sure your internal communications plan is ready for any crisis.