A subspecialty of Public Relations, crisis communication management is designed to protect the image and reputation of an individual or organization facing a crucial challenge in public domain.
Such challenges may emanate from a public scrutiny into activities of an organization conducted by government agencies. It may also be in form of an investigation from government agencies, criminal allegations, media inquiries, violation of employees rights, shareholders lawsuits, a violation of environmental regulations, or other scenarios involving the legal, ethical, or financial standing of the entity.
Crisis communication management means
may include creating statements, known as “messages,” often tested by research and polling. Other measures may comprise proactive media outreach inspired with a view to get such messages and context to the media. It further includes coopting the right opinion leaders or influencers who can issue a favorable narrative of the organization's side of the unfolding story.
Crisis communication is also regarded as a sub-speciality of business continuity. The ultimate objective of crisis communication management in such contexts is to enable organizations retain continuity of crucial business processes and dissemination of information under such circumstances.
An effective crisis communication strategic plan should inculcate the following objectives:
• Maintain connectivity
• Be readily accessible to the news media
• Show empathy for the people involved
• Allow distributed access
• Streamline communication processes
• Maintain information security
• Ensure uninterrupted audit trails
• Deliver high volume communications
• Support multi-channel communications
• Remove dependencies on paper based processes