Organizational reputations take years to create and can be tarnished in an instant. Without careful planning, even a small incident or event can rapidly overwhelm an organization and distort its image. The communication of timely and accurate information to a multitude of constituents often is the difference between a “successful incident response” or, abject organizational failure.
Crisis communications is just that, communicating in a crisis. Normal public relations and marketing efforts typically are not effective in this regard and often serve to further confuse the organization’s position or response to an incident or event. An effective strategy to immediately address an issue, in an honest and compassionate manner is paramount. Furthermore, it is vitally important that the communication not cease with the cessation of incident/event response. Rather, crisis communications must continue on, to effectively validate the organizations commitment to its personnel as well as the broader community impacted and/or served.
This area is often overlooked or misunderstood by organizations, thinking it is merely an extension of a spokesperson’s duties. Time and again, a seemingly innocuous or “harmless” statement made, in response to an incident or event has ballooned into a public relations nightmare. Crisis communications is a specific discipline that must be trained and exercised in order to achieve proficiency and understanding.
Summit Exercises & Training professionals, associates, and partners have years of crisis communications expertise in a myriad of fields and organizations. We understand communication is not one dimensional to outside entities, such as the media. Crisis communication is multi-dimensional in which not only one side, the media, should be informed; but also employees, employees’ families, affected public populations, shareholders, customers and other stakeholders, as well as local, state and federal governments, not to mention regulatory and accreditation bodies.
Our training and exercises are based on real world experiences and founded in best practice. Training is realistic, comprehensive and applicable to a variety of situations. Our crisis communications exercises are designed with the client in mind, take their particular vulnerabilities into consideration, and are adapted to provide a very realistic feel while thoroughly testing the participants. This process is proven and elicits very satisfactory results and feedback from our clients.
Summit offers a wide variety of training and consultative support, backed up with validation exercises in this field. Our team can assist in plan review as well as strategic development and response, in addition to the tailored training and exercises.