Crisis Communication Plans
As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail.
The ICM-developed crisis communication plan includes strategies for managing broad categories of potential issues to use as a starting point to develop what’s needed to address each unique situation. Customized worksheets specific to the type of crisis guide management and help the crisis team refine the strategy and develop the most effective talking points and messaging.
We recommend that organizations have three crisis plans that are fully integrated and designed to work together.
- the operational crisis response plan, which provides direction to those charged with actually managing what is happening;
- the crisis communication plan, which details communication strategies, tools and tactics for responding to stakeholders and the media during the crisis; and
- the business recovery/continuity plan, which outlines how the organization returns to normal business operations in the aftermath of the incident.
Our firm’s primary focus is development and integration of the crisis communication plan, which helps drive decisions across all three components of the crisis response.
When you hire ICM to develop a crisis communication plan, we:
- Analyze industry trends that may indicate potential for a crisis;
- Conduct a vulnerability assessment to identify the most likely crises that your organization may face;
- Identify early warning signals that suggest the possibility of a crisis;
- Create a comprehensive crisis communication plan and train crisis team members;
- Practice the plan through table-top exercises and simulations; and
- Help identify and train the spokespersons who will address the media.
The plan includes our recommended components, including:
- Overview and plan objectives
- Crisis assessment criteria and team activation / response protocol
- Crisis Team Chain of Command
- Line and staff group responsibilities
- Designated spokespersons and disclosure guidelines
- Additional staff activated as needed
- Crisis Team contact information
- Media contact lists for every relevant market
- Information verification and approval policies and procedures
- Approved background information/ photos/ video
- Messaging strategy, worksheets and response guidelines for most probable issues
- Social media and mainstream media strategy and monitoring tactics
- Logistical checklists and worksheets
Once you approve the plan
We produce and deliver it and schedule a training session with your crisis team to teach you how to use it. We deliver the final plan in multiple formats to assure that the crisis team has access to the plan wherever they are when called upon.
Deborah Hileman, SCMP
ICM President and CEO
CEO Expertise for Every Client
Deborah Hileman, SCMP, President and CEO. A certified strategic communication management professional (SCMP), business leader, coach and consultant with more than 30 years’ experience in public and private companies and non-profit organizations, Ms. Hileman has led high-performing communications and marketing teams in health care, manufacturing, insurance and financial services, nonprofits and higher education. Her most significant areas of expertise include strategic communications planning and reputation/crisis management, change management, employee engagement and communication training.