When a Crisis Strikes
Your Issue Management and Crisis Communication Plan
A crisis is any situation that threatens the reputation of an organization. At some point, all companies will most likely face a crisis or an issue that will evolve into a crisis if improperly managed. Planning for such a scenario by creating an issue management and crisis communication plan is as critical as preparing a financial plan for a business. The key to a successful communication plan is for YOU to control the dissemination of information – the message itself and to whom and when it is released.
The Circles of Influence
The Roberts Group has created a proprietary tool, the Circles of Influence, to help you build and efficiently enact an issue management and crisis communication plan for your business. The Circles of Influence tool facilitates the identification of your key audiences, the definition of their involvement and the development of appropriate messaging and communication channels.
As depicted by the illustration, the “circles” refer to the expanding reach of a crisis across invested parties, much like the ripple effect seen when a stone, hits still water and triggers a reaction of expanding concentric circles.
The first circle identifies the catalyst – the decision makers – who will take action to control the event. This group might include your board of directors or administration or leadership team.
The second circle identifies those most affected – those whose daily lives are affected or changed by decisions made and actions taken.
Within the third circle are those who are somewhat involved, or who have involved themselves, but feel no direct impact of the crisis in their daily lives.
The fourth circle includes people interested in the situation due to past or potential future interaction with the organization.
The fifth circle encompasses opinion makers – those who can shape the broader public opinion based on what they say, write or do.
While the circles may vary somewhat depending on the specifics of the situation, it is critical to have pre-identified the groups that influence and are influenced by your organization so your communication plan is complete and exhaustive as to how and to whom you communicate.
Due to the nature of today’s media landscape, news is accessed and spread through the community, across the country and around the world in a nanosecond. The way to control that message is to be prepared in advance, not after the fact.
The Roberts Group can help you build – and protect – your organization’s reputation through experienced, strategic issue management and crisis communication planning.