Incorporate the Crisis Lifecycle into your Communications
By Beki Winchel
Whether it’s engaging with employees throughout layoffs or preparing for and responding to reporters’ and consumers’ requests, plan your messages stage by stage.
Rises can take many forms—sometimes arriving without notice to wreak havoc on your reputation.
Along with preparing for potential negative events before you must respond, McKinsey & Co. recommended setting your messages to match the crisis communications life cycle. In its “Leader’s Guide: Communicating with teams, stakeholders, and communicating during COVID-19,” the company provided the following life cycle for the pandemic’s response, along with employee needs for each stage:
Whether your crisis communications life cycle is brief or lengthy, you should focus on what matters most in the current moment.
For COVID-19, that started with instructions on how to social distance and shelter in place, along with reassuring, straightforward information. Only after that stage could communicators across organizations and industries alter messages and shift their focuses to helping employees and other stakeholders adjust to the “new normal.”
You can read the entire guide here