"Crisis Management Plan Worksheet"
Best Practices for Risk and Crisis Communication Timothy Sellnow, Ph.D. Steven Venette, Ph.D. Shari Veil, Ph.D. The Great Plains Institute for Food Safety Characterizing Crisis Surprise Threat Short Response Time Stages of Crisis Crises Create Uncertainty How are we going to handle this? How should we prepare? What should we do? Who can we trust? What should we say? How should we say it? What should we focus on? Best Practices of Crisis Communication Where are we now? Toward what are we working? What must we be prepared to do? Why Plan for Crisis? Decreases uncertainty of protocol for response team. Improves response time of the team. Decreases severity of the crisis by alleviating confusion. May prevent crisis by recognizing potential risks before they become a crisis. How to Write Crisis Plan Title Page: ―Organization Name‖ Crisis Plan, Date, Number of Copies Made Introduction: Explanation and rationale for plan Confidentiality Agreement: Acknowledgment form saying the member has read the plan – should be signed and dated. Rehearsal Dates: Dates and descriptions of when and how the organization will rehearse a crisis response Crisis Management Team: Incident commander and members of the team with contact information. How to Write Crisis Plan Crisis Risk Assessment: Lists of potential crises, how they could impact the organization, and what procedures the team should follow if the crisis occurs. Incident Report: Report on how crises were handled in the past. Assessment of past crisis response capabilities. Proprietary Information: Information that should never be released to the media. Crisis Management Team (CMT) Worksheet: Protocol for handling any crisis. Initial Contact Worksheet: Names and contact info of all initial contacts – who should be called when. How to Write Crisis Plan Secondary Contact Worksheet: Names and contact info of all secondary contacts – who should be called when. Stakeholder Contact Worksheet: How and when should stakeholders be contacted? Crisis Control Center: At what location should the CMT meet in the event of a crisis? What if the crisis occurred at that location? Business Resumption Plan: Where and how would business resume after a crisis? What if something happened to the building in which the organization is housed? Best Practices of Crisis Communication Strategic planning Pre-Event Logistics Coordinating Networks Accepting Uncertainty Element 1: Situation Analysis Assess Vulnerabilities Determining where you are at risk can help alleviate risk avoid a potential crisis. Lessons from Peter Sandman Risk = Hazard + Outrage or Risk = ƒ[Hazard, Outrage] The Seesaw of Risk* Responsibility/Blame for failures Low/High catastrophic potential Costs/Benefits for taking a risk *Only applies when the audience is ambivalent Work Session 1 Assess Vulnerabilities (Page 6 in your plan) Crisis Risk Assessment: Lists of potential crises, how they could impact the organization, and what procedures the team should follow if the crisis occurs. Best Practices of Crisis Communication Strategic planning Pre-Event Logistics Coordinating Networks Accepting Uncertainty Element 2: Connecting Resources Identify Resources Collaborate and coordinate with credible sources Who can you and should you contact when? Know who you can count on when needed. Establish relationships before a crisis with those you will need in the event of a crisis. Eliminate bureaucracy. Work Session 2 Identify Resources Establish Crisis Management Team (Page 5 of your plan) Create contact worksheets (Pages 10 and 11 of your plan) Best Practices of Crisis Communication Strategic planning Pre-Event Logistics Coordinating Networks Accepting Uncertainty Crisis Planning and Uncertainty Intensifiers Poor communication within and outside of the organization Superior/subordinate External environment Distancing of aggravated stakeholders and their needs Engineering of stakeholder consent rather than listening to needs No awareness or planning for crisis Accepting Uncertainty Planning decreases uncertainty You can not plan for and do not want to try to plan for every potential detail in a potential crisis. Best Practices of Crisis Communication Proactive Strategies Form Partnerships Listen to public concern Be open and honest Element 3: Communication Planning Listen to the public Identify your audiences Stakeholder Relationships Organizations can develop reservoirs of goodwill before a crisis that can create support after a crisis Develop instrumental communication channels with stakeholders Focus on ethical conduct and good corporate citizenship. Establish records of positive accomplishments Crisis Planning and Reducing Uncertainty We have found organizations focusing on stakeholder needs prior to crisis are better prepared. Which stakeholders are upset with you? Listening sessions with stakeholders Negotiate with stakeholders prior to crisis Work Session 3 Identify your audiences How can you learn what the public is thinking? How should you communicate with the public? (Page 12 of your plan) Best Practices of Crisis Communication Proactive Strategies Form Partnerships Listen to public concern Be open and honest Intensifiers of Crisis During the Event Not having a crisis plan in effect Not knowing what to say Minimizing the impact of the crisis Not having messages ready to communicate Communicating with certainty about complex issues Having to retract previous statements Stonewalling* *―No Comment‖ is never an option Being Open and Honest You do not need to protect the public from themselves. It has been found that providing the public with information does not cause panic. Withholding information increases uncertainty and leads to panic. There is no work session on how to be honest Ultimate Criterion - Significant Choice Opportunity for rational decision making by all stakeholders based on sufficient information. Best Practices of Crisis Communication Strategic Response Be accessible to the media Communicate compassion Provide self-efficacy Working with the Media See the media as a resource vs. nuisance Have a media relations reality check (handout 1) Prepare media strategies (handout 2) Know what to do when a reporter calls (handout 3) Best Practices of Crisis Communication Strategic Response Be accessible to the media Communicate compassion Provide self-efficacy Element 4: Message Construction Be open and honest Acknowledge emotions Give the audience something meaningful to do Crisis Communication Strategies 1) Strive for absolute candor 2) Apologize for misbehavior 3) Acknowledge uncertainty 4) Acknowledge opinion diversity 5) Share dilemmas 6) Don’t over-reassure 7) Treat emotions as legitimate 8) Establish your own humanity 9) Offer people things to do 10) Stop worrying about panic Beyond Panic Prevention: Addressing Emotion in Crisis Communication 1) Fear, Panic, and Denial 2) Vigilance, Hypervigilance, and Paranoia 3) Empathy, Misery, and Depression 4) Anger, Hurt, and Guilt 5) Resilience You must also acknowledge your own emotions. Work Session 4 What crises have you experienced in the past? How were they handled? How could you improve the response? Did emotions play a factor in the intensity of the crisis? What can you offer your audience to reduce anxiety? (page 7 of your plan) Best Practices of Crisis Communication Continuously evaluate and update crisis plans avoid dilapidation Element 5: Continuously update crisis plans Identify learning opportunities Anticipate scenarios Rehearse and review Reducing Ambiguity Following Crisis Renewal Regrowth Learning Corrective Action Recompense High Reliability Organizations Effective management of the unexpected Low failure rates despite constant threats Mindfulness Continuous creation of new categories Openness to new information An implicit awareness of more than one perspective—Langer,1997 Mindlessness Entrapment in old categories Automatic behavior that precludes attending to new signals Action that operates from single perspective Anablep Approach to Crisis Crisis prepared organizations are able to watch both within and outside their boundaries at the same time Avoiding a Halibut View Focusing exclusively on one dimension, aspect or issue Hallmarks of High Reliability Preoccupation with failure Reluctance to simplify interpretations Sensitivity to operations Commitment to resilience Deference to local expertise Work Session 5 How will you implement your plan? (Page 9 in your plan) How and when will you update and evaluate your plan? (Page 4 in your plan) Questions and Discussion