None of us want a crisis to strike us or our organization… but that is an ideal scenario! Many time, a crisis strikes out of the blue, making the core management team of the organization run for cover! Not just that – when a crisis hits, there is chaos all over, that adding to the already vitiated organization eco-system.
The organization eco-system includes all the stakeholders – the organization and its product and services, the market place, the positioning vis a vis competition, the employee, the financial institutions that have invested in the company, the stock market, and every single public shareholder…. The list is partial, and will depend on the size and scale of the organization.
While the occurrence of the crisis per se, cannot be predicted, the response to such a situation can be planned in advance – and this is what we call a war-room for crisis management. This war-room (primarily comprising of your internal communications pro’s) is ever prepared, and swings into action when there is a crisis – if at all there is one.
This war room will/must have people drawn from the top leadership of the organization (sales, marketing, finance, HR and so on) who will work in tandem with the core communications professionals and will caliberate the response for any crisis.
The crisis team (the war-room) will be well prepared with all the facts pertaining to the product, service, people, infrastructure, the dynamics of the various markets it which they are present, the relevant information of the prime-competitors etc.
Apart from the communications teams which is well trained to interact and speak appropriately to the media, key resources in the organization are identified time and again (once a year minimum), and they are imparted with the communication finesse in handling all kinds of media queries, when the situation warrants.
A mechanism is put in place is such a way that once any event (crisis) occurs, all the key stake holders in the war-room are connected seamlessly and appraised of the events, the facts, the implications, and the consequences plus the actions that will e taken y the organization in the aftermath of such a situation. This fact brief to the core team – irrespective of where and when the crisis occurs – must all be done in 30 to 60 minutes. And post that the team hits the road in tackling the PR front with ease.
While it is the responsibility of the leadership of the organization to calibrate the response to any crisis, the ability to get the message across, in the best way, to all the internal and external stake holders is the key winner in the long term.
That happens seamlessly only if there is a war-room mechanism in place at your organization. With media staying connected 24/7/365, carrying out their social responsibility of disseminating information as it occurs, it is only a crisis war room that can save the day for your organization.
Not just that, your war room will actually impact your long terms interests in a positive way!
So, does your organization have a communication war-room?!