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Crisis Management and Planning
It’s often too late to create a “crisis plan” when you’re in the middle of a crisis.
Optima Public Relations has keen insight in crisis management and pre-planning. Our team can help you come up with a process and approach consistent with your staffing availability and control measures. We can assist you in organizing a chain of command, key spokespersons and locations, the actual plan for communicating with employees, government agencies, stockholders or members, and the community at large. We can help you delineate background information on products, processes and the people in your organization that matter.
What is a communication audit? A communication audit is a complete analysis of an organization’s communications, internal and/or external, designed to “take a picture” of communication needs, policies, practices and capabilities, and to uncover necessary data to allow top management to make informed, economical decisions about future objectives of the organization’s communication. An audit should also lead to a series of recommendations.
What subjects are covered? Typically an Optima audit will cover such areas as:
- Communication philosophy: formal written policies (if any), the position of communication among management priorities, management support of communication in a practical (e.g. financial) way, the relations of communication to other staff functions and to operations, and centralized vs. decentralized communication.
- Objectives and goals: long-range objectives, short-range goals. Organization, staffing, and compensation – organizational structure, position duties and responsibilities, salary levels, production support.
- Existing communication programs: formal methods and media for communicating downward, upward, and laterally through the organizational pyramid. Techniques used to communicate with external audiences, such as printed materials (annual reports, fact books, histories, brochures), eNewsletters, videos through conduits such as YouTube and photos through sites like Flickr, and special events (annual meetings, open houses).
- Existing vehicles and their uses: Internet, Social Media, email, voicemail, printed and ePublications, manuals, podcast, webinars, PowerPoint\ presentations, teleconferencing, telephones generally and message systems, memos, reports and correspondence.
- Personal communications: quantity, quality, and reliability of information, and effectiveness of the one-on-one, interpersonal exchange. Both internally among supervisors and employees, as well as with outside public such as media, legislators and financial analysts.
- Attitudes toward existing communications: internally toward formal, organization- sponsored programs, informal message transmission (the grapevine), and externally in the attitudes of various constituencies on subjects of particular interest, including the intensity of their views.
- Meetings: frequency, content, format, effectiveness, and duration of departmental and other group get-togethers for business purposes inside the organization.