Small business crisis planning public relations

What kind of information goes into a crisis plan for a small business? A plan should include worst case scenarios (we recommend the top five most likely), writing a message to address each scenario. The message should be short but address what happened and your actions. We’ve talked about email templates and media release templates.Let’s explore some more.

Our suggestion for both email and media templates plural means drafting one for a positive or a negative result for each. If for example your data is hacked into you want to be prepared to let your clients know that it happened, that nothing happened to their personal information and you’ve fixed the issue. However, you might need to plan what to say if their information has been compromised and what actions you’ll be taking. When you write the draft you want to think what you can say that addresses what the customer needs to know, without assuming you are at fault. If you are at fault you might want to consider what you can do about it. The lawyers will suggest not admitting guilt. And they are right-especially in drafts.

The point of a draft is to make you think about how you’d handle the situation, what you need to say and to whom and how quickly. Remember in a crisis a million things will be on your mind. Thinking coherently about what to say may not be top of mind. And if you aren’t used to media or writing to customers, this may be even more difficult. So write it NOW. It will be far easier to edit in crisis, than to have to figure out how to write a media release and what to say to your customers in the middle of the worst moment you business has ever faced. Draft that plan now.

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