This step of Ready Business provides direction for developing a crisis communications plan. Understanding the audiences that a business needs to reach during an emergency is one of the first steps in the development of a crisis communications plan.
The crisis communication or business continuity plan should include documented procedures for notification of suppliers.
Communications with government officials depends upon the nature and severity of the incident and regulatory requirements. Another important element of the crisis communications plan is the need to coordinate the release of information. Another important goal of the crisis communications plan is to move from reacting to the incident, to managing a strategy, to overcome the incident.
The risk assessment process should identify scenarios that would require communications with stakeholders.
Pre-scripted messages can be developed, approved by the management team and stored on a remotely accessible server for quick editing and release when needed.
Management needs to develop the strategy and the crisis communications team needs to implement that strategy by allaying the concerns of each audience and positioning the organization to emerge from the incident with its reputation intact. It should be clear to staff what situations require immediate notification of management regardless of the time of day.

In turn, management should provide input into the messages generated by the crisis communications team. Crisis management, in contrast with Business Continuity, involves dealing - besides the Operational Risk Management - with a threat once it occurs. The credibility and reputation of a business is heavily influenced by the perception of their responses during crisis situations. The crisis communications team, consisting of members of the management team, should operate in an office environment to support the contact and information centers.
The organization and communication involved in responding to a crisis in a timely fashion makes for a challenge in businesses. Clarity matters in complex corporate communication: unclear strategy communication leads to misaligned actions, unclear customer communication leads to unsatisfied clients, unclear risk communication leads to misunderstood threats, unclear crisis communication leads to reputation damage. Human Resources (HR) is responsible for the day-to-day communications with employees regarding employment issues and benefits administration. Notification requirements specified in regulations should be documented in the crisis communications plan. We consider Crisis Management as an opportunity for protecting the value of a business and fortifying its response mechanisms towards the internal and external threats. It is a discipline within the broader context of management, consisting of skills and techniques required to identify, assess, understand, and cope with a serious situation, especially from the moment it first occurs to the point that recovery procedures start.

Lists should be updated regularly, secured to protect confidential information and available to authorized users at the emergency operations center or an alternate location for use by members of the crisis communications team.
The study is the result of a joint effort with AXA, Swisscom, Grayling, and the Global Alliance for PR and Communication Management. The University of St.Gallen's =mcm institute and the Global Alliance for PR and Communication Management have conducted a study on how to make complex corporate communication messages clear - and this in a systematic manner.
There must be open and consistent communication throughout the hierarchy to contribute to a successful crisis communication process. HR should also coordinate communications with those involved with the care of employees and the provision of benefits to employees and their families. Close coordination between management, company spokesperson, public agencies and HR is needed when managing the sensitive nature of communications related to an incident involving death or serious injury.
Using this input, the crisis communications team can inform management about the issues that are being raised by stakeholders.

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