Craig Schoenfeld of CR3 Connect explains how proper planning includes anticipating the worst.
A crisis can happen to any organization, no matter how successful. To stay afloat, it’s crucial to have a crisis communication plan in place well before any signs of crisis even arise. The longer a company waits to address the situation, the more likely damage will incur. This applies to all organizations, both large and small.
Leaders should think about how a crisis would affect the employees and customers in addition to the company’s public image. When swift action is taken, it means the company is well-prepared. Craig Schoenfeld, President of CR3Connect, shares three key steps for a successful crisis communications plan.
When working with a dedicated professional crisis communications team, the first step is to predict all potential crises that could arise within the organization. Craig Schoenfeld explains that this will help the company prepare responses and dive into various scenarios. When under pressure from a real crisis, it’s easier to modify plans that have already been created compared to starting from scratch.
Craig Schoenfeld points out that this step also helps leaders find preventable disasters before they arise. Brainstorming can lead to positive changes in company policy and employee education.
Next, a company should designate a spokesperson to act as a consistent voice for the organization. This person should be extensively briefed on all potential issues and responses. They should stay well informed within the company and reference back the material periodically.
Although a crisis cannot be undone, Craig Schoenfeld believes that clear and honest communication with the public can help reduce damage to the company’s reputation. Clear and consistent communication will prevent rumors and false information from spreading out of control.
Craig Schoenfeld’s final step is to create and implement a formal analysis when the crisis communications plan is complete. Employees should reflect on what they learned and provide insight on how the training could be improved. A formal post-analysis should also be prepared for the event of an actual crisis, where the team can evaluate the methods used and their outcomes.
About Craig Schoenfeld:
With more than 20 years of experience, Craig R. Schoenfeld has worked as a lobbyist, political strategist, press spokesperson, and campaign operations manager for his clients. He has developed excellent relations with elected officials, business organizations, and activists in the Midwest.
Craig Schoenfeld is the president of CR3 Connect, one of Iowa’s leading strategic advisory lobby firms. CR3 Connect specializes in designing and implementing strategies that build support, inform the public and public officials, educate and mobilize key constituencies.