Part 5: Crisis Communication Checklist v2

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Part 5: Crisis Communication Checklist

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Before going public, the Crisis Communication Checklist exists to ensure that no step is left out during the development, implementation, and standing down of your communication efforts before, during, and after a crisis

Sample Crisis Communication Checklist

Before going public

  • Determine crisis communications lead person who is responsible for ensuring all tasks are completed (most likely the director of communications).
  • Determine the crisis communication spokesperson who will answer all media and other inquiries (most likely the president and/or CEO).
  • Assess the situation to determine the facts
  • Determine appropriate response/action
  • Create plan of action for internal and external communications.
  • Develop factual, detailed messages that reflect the status of the crisis, the Association’s response, and, if possible, proactive steps to resolve the situation.
  • Prepare talking points and provide a script for the receptionist receiving incoming calls.
  • Determine if a press release, web and/or voicemail updates are necessary.
  • Assess what resources are necessary to manage the crisis (i.e. cell-phone availability, press conference needs, on-location resources – signs, lectern, visuals, etc).
  • Appoint staff to:
    • Serve as the official spokesperson and manage media;
    • Keep important external stakeholders
    • Contact partners, allies, members, etc. and assist with sector-wide talking points, if appropriate; and
    • Record crisis details, actions taken, external responses, resolution.

Going Public

  • Begin placing telephone calls to critical internal audiences, including staff, board and/or legislators, etc.
  • Begin media and other external audience outreach, use press release if appropriate.
  • Update web site and organization phone mail, if needed.
  • Evaluate message effectiveness as the situation progresses.
  • Implement methods for updating key audiences with ongoing information.
  • Distribute post-crisis communications.