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September 22, 2020

Anna Ruth Williams


Chief Growth Officer

marketing team working together at a table

A massive office building fire. A large round of layoffs. A cybersecurity breach. A rogue executive tweet that goes viral. 

These are all examples of workplace issues that require a crisis communications response. And if 2020 has taught us anything - we should be prepared for a crisis of any nature at any time. 

According to Deloitte, only 49% of board members say their companies have playbooks for likely crisis scenarios. Even fewer (32%) say that their companies engage in crisis simulations or training. 

If you’re reading this blog, you are probably in the majority of marketers who are operating without a crisis comms plan on the shelf. Below are the top four elements to include in your company’s manual to ensure your plan is robust, yet adaptable, to quickly respond in the face of the unknown:

  1. Monitoring Protocols. The aforementioned Deloitte survey found that only 49% of board members say their companies engage in monitoring or internal communications to detect trouble ahead. Your crisis comms plan should detail ongoing media monitoring and social media listening procedures and the responsible party(s).

  2. Levels of Crisis and Examples. Your crisis comms plan must be flexible enough to be applied to any scenario. The best way to accomplish this is to categorize crises by levels of severity - with Level 1 being the most dangerous to your company’s operations, finances and reputation, and Level 4 being the least. Giving examples of these situations will also help guide the team. For instance, a cyberattack that results in compromised customer data is Level 1. An angry customer on Twitter is Level 4.

  3. Activation Workflow. Once you have your crisis levels solidified, it’s time to detail what happens when an issue arises in each level. Who is notified first? When is a media statement needed? What departments get involved? How are customers informed? Etc.

  4. Internal Comms Procedures. This one often gets overlooked. But how, when and why you communicate with your employees is critical to mitigating the spread of false information, providing assurance, and uniting your biggest brand champions.

These four elements are key, but by no means comprehensive. As a top crisis comms firm, ARPR helps global technology brands manage issues, minimize impact and preserve reputation. 

Click here to request a quote for a 20-page customized crisis communications plan that your tech company can have at-the-ready when the unexpected inevitably happens.