Every organization has certain employees who need to stay informed during a crisis. For this, communication is necessary, as it gives clarity during uncertain times.
The most important role played by corporate communication during a crisis is to provide stability and inspire confidence.
Communication marked by clarity and consistency is crucial during a crisis. During a crisis, employees can get confused and spread misinformation without being aware of it.
Given below are some corporate communication practices that can be helpful during a crisis.
To prevent damage to the reputation of an organization, it should be transparent while addressing a crisis. There should be no guesswork involved in understanding the crisis, and employees should get to learn the truth.
Whatever generated the crisis should be explained.
The employees should know how not only their jobs but also the image of their organization is affected. They should be guided as to how they are to communicate about the crisis outside of the organization.
Accurate information should be given to them. For instance, what is being done to protect them or whether offices will be shut down.
Video is a great option for face-to-face communication with employees. Average viewers of video retain 95% of what they have watched, while people retain10% of the messages they read.
Employees would prefer to watch a video than read documents and emails.
Hence using video content creates a better chance of getting a company’s message across to employees.
Use a Robust Communication Plan
There should always be a robust communication plan handy to use as soon as a crisis occurs. The plan should have a goal. It should also provide information on how to achieve something.
For instance, the goal of the communication plan could be to reassure its employees. It could also be to gain their trust or maintain productivity .
The Response Phase
When crisis strikes, organizations should try to move to the ‘response’ phase as soon as possible. The message response to a crisis should contain timely and credible information.
Empathizing and delivering authentic information across various channels of communication can help do away with the worries that employees might have.
Meeting stakeholders is also important, as it helps stabilize the immediate crisis.
It is a costly mistake to keep the information about a crisis within the communications department only. Information would spread anyway, in this scenario.
When a crisis occurs, an organization needs to act fast. Employees should not be allowed to make assumptions about what caused the crisis, or about the crisis itself.
This can lead to rumors and harm an organization.
To reinforce the trust of employees, it is best to act fast. If the employees are away from their desks, they should be communicated to about the crisis via mobile devices.