Again and again, we see business owners shift their attention on preparing ahead of a crisis and getting caught up in managing their messaging and reputation during the incident, forgetting to spend time on a post-crisis plan.
Now that the dust has settled on your business’s crisis, it is important to conduct a post-crisis analysis. Doing so may help uncover unforeseen opportunities to regain the trust of your existing audience and attract new consumers. This is the time work is needed to restore and strengthen your business’s reputation in the community. Ensure your business continues to thrive by employing an effective post-crisis communications strategy.
Like we mentioned on our blog on crisis communication, ensuring that your employees have reliable and trustworthy information is crucial. Meet with the crisis communications team to discuss the things that worked and what needs improvement. We understand that it is difficult to touch base with every employee during a crisis, especially if they are not part of the communications team, but make it a point to connect post-crisis to address any questions and concerns and help them further understand the situation as you move forward.
Refine Your Communications Plan
Now is the time to revise your crisis communications plan with new insights gathered from your debriefing meeting and observations throughout the crisis. Determine which parts worked, which parts didn’t, and make the appropriate adjustments. Examine your vulnerabilities, key strengths, and analyze the outcome of the media coverage. Doing so will help you identify areas of weakness and opportunity. Don’t wait until the next crisis to update your communications plan. Your communications plan is a living, breathing document that should be updated on a regular basis. Ensure everyone’s roles, responsibilities, and contact information are correct and update press release templates, social media passwords, and other pertinent information that will streamline communications efforts in the future.
Create Talking Points
Following the crisis, your audience will continue to have questions. Prepare an appropriate messaging framework that will address their questions, and to ensure employees at all levels are on the same page in delivering the right message. The talking points should include new company goals, corrective actions to regain consumer confidence going forward, and/or the results of a crisis investigation. Whether you’re sharing these talking points on social media, as a reactive statement, through a newsletter, or in an interview, ensure your message is consistent to avoid any confusion.
Monitor Your Social Media Channels
It is always a good idea to track what is being said about your business, especially after a crisis, as customers won’t always take the time to find your social media handle and tag you. We recommend using social media monitoring tools to effectively monitor conversations and track all mentions and hashtags. You can also set up keyword searches and Google Alerts, that’ll alert you by email, to monitor the web for mentions of your business.
Be transparent and continue to communicate with your audience through your social media channels and website, updating them on your latest plan of action, safety procedures, precautions, and more.
As the crisis begins to wind down, determine what can be done to promote a return to normalcy, and communicate your next steps with your audience. Remember to keep the media informed of any updates if necessary. This is the time to rely on your organization’s values and strengths to fuel recovery and share your story. Think about what content or stories might help reinforce positive messages about your business. Be creative and include key messages from the crisis into conversations and communications, as appropriate. Follow through on any promises or commitments you’ve made to the public.