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. 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. All of these “audiences” will want information before the business has a chance to begin communicating.

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. The challenge of managing large numbers of requests for information, interviews and public statements can be overwhelming. The best defense against reputation damage atthe time of a crisis is an investment in planningand preparedness well before it hits.
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. 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. 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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