In order to understand the concept of crisis communication, it is important to understand the concept of crisis and communication separately. The crisis is an event or sequence of unwanted events which take place at the workplace. It creates disturbance as well as unrest among the individuals. Generally, a crisis arises all of sudden or on short notice and it triggers a sense of fear as well as a threat among the individuals. The crisis causes severe harm to the individuals as well as organization.
It leads to uncertainties and hence it is very tough for the organization to overcome the crisis on an immediate basis. There are several incidents of crisis within an organization which have significantly affected the functioning of the organization. Crisis significantly affects the performance and productivity of the organization along with the level of motivation and morale of the employees. Hence, it is very important to take an effective step in advance so that possible and potential crisis can be mitigated. It is important for the management of the organization to develop strategies in order to deal with every possible crisis within the organization.
It is also necessary that the employees of the organization should be capable of sensing the early sign of crisis within the organization as well as warn the employees of the organization about the negative impact of the same. Therefore, there should be guideline within the organization in order to guide the employees of the organization in order to prevent a crisis from occurring. As it has been discussed that crisis severely affects the smooth functioning of the organization but it does not only affect the functioning of the organization. It also affects the brand name of the organization significantly. Therefore, the organization should be proactive regarding the crisis. Now our Assignment Help experts will show you an infographic to make you understand this easily:
The concept of crisis communication
The term crisis communication can be defined as a special wing which helps in dealing with the reputation of the organization as well as the employees. It is an initiative which helps in protecting as well as maintaining the reputation of the organization. It is also used to maintain as well as improve the public image of the organization. There are several factors which significantly affect the image as well as the reputation of the organization such as investigations by the government, criminal attacks, and media enquiry. Thus, crisis communication helps in clarifying the things to the public and hence enhances the reputation of the organization in the eyes of the people. Considering the impact and consequences of the crisis on the organization, the organization employs experts to deal with the crisis. The experts are employed by the organization to save the reputation of the organization against several unwanted challenges as well as threats. One of the most important assets of the organization is the brand identity. Thus, the main purpose of the experts employed by the organization is to brand identity of the organization as well as maintain the firm standing of the organization within the industry. They work hard in order to overcome tough situations. They help the organization to come out of the tough and difficult situations in the quickest as well as the best possible way. They respond to the crisis with the help of strategic strategy and try to mitigate the crisis or reduce the impact of the crisis on the organization, employees, and brand identity of the organization.
Process of dealing with the crisis
Dealing with the crisis is very important for the organization because crisis severely affects the overall performance of the organization including the performance as well as productivity of the employees, reputation of the brand and the whole organization. In order to deal with the crisis, the experts follow a set of process which has been discussed below;
- The employees of the organization should not ignore the external parties. They should come out and meet the important clients as well as discuss the problem with them. They should not be ashamed of anything. At the time of need, the employees of the organization should seek the help of external parties as well as important clients. They also should not ignore the media person. Their questions should be answered. If media persons are being ignored, it can make the situation even worse.
- Individuals should not be criticized. A feeling of care, as well as concern, should be shown towards them. Their feelings should be shared. They should be encouraged throughout the tough situation so that they cannot lose hope. The individuals should be encouraged as well as motivated so that they can deliver their level best. The blame game should not be played within the workplace particularly at the time of crisis.
- Throughout the organization, effective communication should be encouraged throughout the organization during a tough situation. Every employee of the organization should have access to the cabin of superior in order to discuss critical situations and reach a mutually acceptable solution.
- The experts of crisis communication should learn to make quick decisions. During unstable situations, it is necessary to respond quickly as well as effectively.
- Apart from this, the information should be kept confidential. The management of the organization should take serious action against the employees who share information and data with external parties.
- The performance of the employees should be evaluated by the superior on a regular basis. The management of the organization should ask for feedback as well as reports in order to know what they are up to.
Strategies to deal with the crisis at the workplace
The organization should develop a set of strategies in order to deal with the crisis in the workplace. The strategies should be implemented either in order to eliminate the crisis or reduce the impact of the crisis on the organization. The following are the strategies which will be helpful in dealing with the crisis.
- Anticipate crisis: it is very important for the organization to be proactive in order to protect the organization from the crisis. In order to anticipate the crisis, the organization should develop a team and conduct intensive brainstorming sessions on the potential crisis which can occur within the organization. It will help the organization to realize the situation and the organization can easily develop effective steps to prevent the crisis.
- Develop a crisis communication team: the organization should develop a team within the organization which can communicate with the key stakeholders at the time of crisis. The team should be able to anticipate the possible crisis within the organization. The top management of the organization should lead the team.
- Identify as well as train spokespersons: the organization should ensure that only authorized spokesperson speak for the critical situation. The organization should develop appropriate policies as well as a training program in order to train the spokespersons. There should be a team of spokespersons so that at the time of need they can backup spokespersons for different channels of communication.
- The organization should establish notification as well as monitoring systems: nowadays, it is very important to have a system with the help of which the concerned authority can reach the internal as well as external stakeholders of the organization immediately. Establishing a notification as well as monitoring system helps in reaching the key stakeholders on an immediate basis.
- The organization should identify as well as know its stakeholders. Apart from this, the organization should also develop holding statements. Moreover, the organization should assess the crisis situation. After that, the message should be finalized as well as adapted. It will help in avoiding crisis and if a crisis occurs the organization can easily reduce the impact.
Important tips to deal with the crisis
The organization should follow the following tips in order to deal with the critical situation within the organization.
- The organization should respond quickly to a critical situation. It has also been analyzed that customers expect a quick response from the organization to any problem or issue which arises. It is possible for the organization to respond quickly due to the rise in digital as well as social media. Thus, the organization should leverage the benefits of social media in order to deal with the crisis effectively and efficiently.
- The organization should also leverage its supporters. The dream of every public relation professional is to have supporters come to the aid of brand in times of crisis. The response from the organization should be more genuine.
- The organization should put the victim first if crisis strikes the organization. Even if the organization does not cause the problem, the victim should be put first by the organization. The organization should acknowledge their pain, frustration, as well as suffering.
- The organization should be transparent especially at the time of crisis. It is considered that at the time of crisis the organization remains under a microscope and every action and activity of the organization is judged by the public. Therefore, it is better to be transparent as well as upfront than stonewall or plead ignorance.
- The organization should also ensure that the message is consistent throughout the organization. Messages do not go out from one department. The crisis communication team should address the issue company-wide in a cohesive manner.
- The organization should always be prepared to deal with any critical situation. The more prepared the organization is, the better it will handle the crisis. Crisis negatively affects the reputation of the organization and hence the organization wants to minimize the impact of the crisis. Thus, the organization should always be ready to deal with the crisis in order to protect the reputation of the organization.
Types of crisis within the organization
There are five major types of crisis which significantly can affect the functioning of the organization. It is important to identify the type of crisis in order to deal with the crisis in an effective manner.
- Financial crisis: an organization is said to be in financial crisis when it loses value in its assets. In the financial crisis, the organization cannot afford to pay off its expenses. The financial crisis is caused by either external or internal factors which result in an extensive decrease in demand for the product and services of the organization.
- Personnel crisis: an organization is said to be in personnel crisis when an internal and key stakeholder of the organization involves in unethical scandal or illegal activity which can impact the reputation of the organization.
- Organization crisis: an organization is said to be in organizational crisis when the organization exploits its potential customer in order to gain more information or profits.
- Technological crisis: a technological crisis within an organization occurs when the technology of the organization crashes. For example, when an error emerges or server breaks in a software product. Due to this crisis, the users of the organization have no access to the product or services of the organization.
- Natural crisis: an organization is said to be in natural crisis when the functioning of the organization is interrupted by the severe weather. The natural crisis can be temporary such as snow delay or flooding evacuation. It is very tough to avoid such type of crisis and hence the organization should have a contingency plan to reduce the impact of the natural crisis on the functioning of the organization.
Importance of crisis communication
As it has been discussed that crisis affects the organization badly and hence the organization may suffer severe losses. Therefore, the organization should develop a team to deal with the crisis. Crisis communication helps the organization significantly and makes the organization capable of dealing with the crisis effectively and efficiently. Here are some important points which highlight the importance of communication at the time of crisis within the organization.
- It helps the organization in protecting as well as maintaining the reputation of the organization in the public. Crisis significantly affects the reputations of the organization. Therefore, in order to protect the reputation of the organization, effective communication at the time of crisis is necessary. Thus, crisis communication helps in protecting as well as maintaining the reputation of the organization in the eyes of the public.
- With the help of effective communication at the time of crisis helps the organization in maintaining the performance of the organization. If the organization does not manage the crisis effectively, it will affect the performance of the employees significantly and hence with the passage of time the performance of the overall organization will reduce significantly. Thus, crisis communication helps in maintaining the performance of the organization.
- Effective communication at the time of crisis helps the organization to protect the brand identity of the organization. Brand identity is very significant for the success of the product and service of the organization.
- Crisis communication helps in ensuring a high level of employee motivation and morale of the organization. High level of employee motivation and morale ensures a high level of performance and productivity.